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Iowa State Preview

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Iowa State comes to town as the opportunities for a victory dwindle for the Jayhawks

David Purdy

It has to be this weekend, right? Iowa State comes to town with terrible injury luck, having lost 5-7 starters to season ending injuries They have taken the persona of being an average but effective offensive team with a lackluster defense (95th F/+) geared by a young, underdeveloped defensive line and inexperienced linebacking corps. Can Kansas take advantage of Iowa State and come through with a second conference win in as many years?

 

 

OFFENSE

Offensively, the Cyclones run a zone read offense with fast and athletic QB Sam Richardson. The offense was flying high (relatively speaking) keeping pace with KSU and Texas and showing signs of improvement.  Operating at 4.8 yards per play on the season, good for 10th in the nation, ISU hit a wall in their last game against Oklahoma. The Cyclones punted 10 times and turned the ball over three times (all interceptions).

Mangino’s QB’s have done very well taking care of the ball (OU not withstanding) and average a 1.33% interception rate. On the season the Cyclones have impressed going 45.3% on 3rd down conversion (24th) and scoring 70% redzone touchdowns.

The Cyclone passing game is key for this offense and features freshman receiver Allen Lazard and senior tight end EJ Bibbs. Both players will be targeted extensively, especially in the redzone where they present matchup nightmares for nearly everyone they face.

DEFENSE

The Cyclone defense has seen its share of issues this season. They allowed OU 8.6 yards per rush, made Tyrone Swoopes look like a superstar and in general have been abysmal. The Cyclones lost a leader in senior linebacker Jevohn Miller and their young, inexperienced and underdeveloped defensive line has been completely ineffective (sack rate of 3.72%, 110th).

Opponents are averaging 38.9 points (#112) and nearly 4 rushing touchdowns per contest. With Miller out the Cyclones will look to stars within the secondary including sophomore DB’s T.J. Mutcherson (61 tackles, 2 interceptions, 1 fumble) and Nigel Tribune (47 tackles, 2 interceptions, 10 passes defended).  With Eric Kiesau now calling plays for KU the anticipation is that he may test the young secondary. I would like to see KU attack the defensive line and use the rush to set the tone for the game.

 

 

 

PREDICTION

 

KU 17 – ISU 14