Iowa State Football: Kansas State Preview


Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-US PRESSWIRE

(5)Kansas State at (25)Iowa State

Saturday, October 13th – at Jack Trice Stadium; Ames, Iowa

Wildcats: 5-0, 2-0 Big 12 | Cyclones: 4-1, 1-1 Big 12

  • Kickoff – 11:00 a.m. CT
  • Television – FX (DirecTV: 248)
    Announcers: Justin Kutcher (PxP), Eric Crouch (commentary) 
  • Radio – Cyclone Radio Network (affiliate list)
    Announcers: John Walters (PxP), Eric Heft (commentary) 
  • Weather – Cloudy, 64-71 degrees (39 percent chance of rain after 2:00 pm) (from AccuWeather as of Friday night)
  • Odds – Kansas State is favored by six points as of Friday night (opened as 7-point favorites) and the over/under total is set at 48 (from LVH)

Quick History

  • 96th meeting, Cyclones lead 49-42-4 all-time
  • Last meeting as top 25 teams (in AP poll*): 2002, Wildcats won 58-7
    *Rankings used above from Coaches Poll 
  • Kansas State has won previous four straight and last 15 of 18
  • ISU was nearly even in all statistics last year (and held KSU to 4-12 on 3rd down) except -2 in turnover margin

Barnett hopes to get the win over KSU this time around. Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-US PRESSWIRE

Paul Rhoads did it again. Using his magic of trading Jared Barnett for Steele Jantz at quarterback, the Cyclones came up with the third consecutive season defeating a top 25 program. That’s a school record, and so would be beating two top 15 schools in back-to-back weeks.

Barnett looked completely solid in his season debut. Just going 4-13 on third down was lacking, but going 12-21 for 183 yards and three touchdowns (including two deep passing touchdowns) was impressive after looking a little bleak in his last outing against Rutgers. It was also aided with the offensive line protecting the quarterback light years better than a week ago. Jantz was sent scrambling more often than not when the pressure came, and Barnett looked fairly comfortable all day. The only bad mistake he made was with one minute left in the second quarter, underthrowing the ball to a TCU defender and getting it picked off.

As long as the offensive line plays like it did in Fort Worth, it shouldn’t have a problem with a home crowd backing them up. Barnett will need to throw again to beat this defense, and hopefully wide receiver Josh Lenz can have just a portion of his big game last week, catching three touchdowns and even throwing one against TCU. It sounds backwards, but hopefully the success in passing will open up the running game.

It’s hard to say how healthy Jeff Woody is, but he was the main man last year with 23 carries for 85 yards and two touchdowns. Shontrelle Johnson will hope to fill the void if Woody can’t, and James White will look to improve on his performance a year ago (eight carries for 41 yards).

On the other side of the ball, dark Heisman quarterback Collin Klein and running back John Hubert will make their return, and Iowa State didn’t match up well with them at all last year. Both combined for 206 yards two touchdowns on the ground. Klein completed just 7-15 passes but gathered up 158 yards and another touchdown in the 30-23 Kansas State victory.

They’re still ridiculously good this year. They both combined for 188 yards on the ground per game, and have 15 touchdowns between them. It’s going to be the biggest duo to stop, considering the receivers are about on par with the Cyclones. Lead wide receiver Tramaine Thompson has 16 receptions for 260 yards and three of the seven touchdowns for the receiving core. No one else has more than one dance in the endzone.

Defensively, this team should be easier than TCU. They rank 46th overall, and perform better at stopping the run. For more thoughts and analysis on how the Cyclones should attack, see my conversation with Dave Thoman, lead editor of Fansided’s Jug of Snyder.

Also in a completely different vain from a week ago is special teams. Senior punter Ryan Doerr has held around an average of 40-yard kicks throughout his career. Last year, 14 of them were kicked out inside the 20, and this year he’s on the All-Big 12 third team. Also earning those honors were senior kicker Anthony Cantelle, who’s made 5-6 field goals and all 29 extra points.

Gameday Thoughts

  • I’ll admit, I was wrong on Jantz. Barnett clearly is a leader, and the teams responds so much better with him at the helm. He looked pretty solid in his reads, and his accuracy was money for this being his first start in the game. He won the battle with Jantz during the week and it showed on the field.
  • Of course, last week’s preview was almost throwaway material as I expected Jantz to have at least one more start. If Jantz somehow won the position back and starts on Saturday, I’m done with previews.
  • It’s a shame that both this and the Red River Rivalry will be on at the same time, it would have made a fantastic doubleheader if this game was pushed back to 2:30 or even 3:00 on FX. Alas, FOX would never agree to that with them now having games on FOX at 2:00 after the MLB regular season has concluded.

Can Klein and Hubert have the same success against the Cyclones as last year? Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-US PRESSWIRE

Injury Report

It’s a light one this week. Iowa State has nothing on the list. As of Sunday, Kansas State listed offensive lineman Nick Puetz as questionable with a foot injury.


Both teams are generally the same on defense, but obviously Kansas State wins at the quarterback and running back positions. Barnett will just be starting his second game of the season and the team lacks a true leader between White and Johnson. One thing they can’t count on this week are Wildcat mistakes. TCU turned the ball over five times – that will not happen with KSU. Nor will penalties. The Cyclones also need to play flawless ball, and hopefully the weather conditions will permit this from happening (if the weather does turn in a bad direction, refer to my prediction in my conversation with Thoman). That all being said, Iowa State at least has a heartbeat on defense, and a packed Jack Trice could keep the team off rhythm. I’m anticipating a tougher day for both Klein and Hubert, and the Cyclones will force a late turnover to hold on to a low-scoring game. It’s time for this team to finally capitalize on a big upset, this is their chance to show consistency beating an even better team.

Iowa State 23, Kansas State 20

Brian Spaen is the lead editor for Clones Confidential. Keep up with the latest sports fails and disdain toward the Big Ten by following him on Twitter.

Read his other work on the Oregon Ducks blog, Autzen Zoo, and Lacrosse the Web.