Iowa State Cyclones football: Getting to know the Kansas State Wildcats


It’s way too early to start talking about any Big 12 team, let alone a Kansas State Wildcats team that smacked the Iowa State Cyclones all over the place last season.

Dec 28, 2013; Tempe, AZ, USA; Kansas State Wildcats quarterback Jake Waters (15) runs for a first down during the second half against the Michigan Wolverines in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

But that’s the way the schedule works. Since Kansas State had a weird schedule with two straight bye weeks, they decided to move one of the Big 12 contests earlier in the year. Since Iowa’s the nicest state in America, the Cyclones game was moved to the second week of the season.

Right before a trip to Iowa City. Fantastic.

Based on what’s been happening in spring practice, and what eventually translated to the spring game, Kansas State’s offense hasn’t been clicking. Head coach Bill Snyder cites that they’re undisciplined, turning the ball over and committing far too many penalties.

In fact, Snyder usually flips a lopsided score and has his starters beat the backups by even more points in the second half. But his starts went into halftime with just a 7-3 score, thus the score didn’t flip around.

Some notes from the game include multiple receivers dropping passes, and lead receiver Tyler Lockett was watching from the sideline. Despite the bleak effort on offense, starting quarterback Jake Waters completed 26 of 38 passes for 227 yards, zero touchdowns, and had one interception. He also ran for 42 yards and a touchdown on eight carries.

A player to look out for on offense next year is freshman receiver Judah Jones, who completed the play of the day, a 51-yard touchdown reception, and also was seen in the running back position. The potential dual threat might have already won himself some time on the field in the fall.

Still, the thing that bothered Iowa State the most last season against Kansas State was the Wildcats’ stifling defense, and it looked better than ever in their spring game today. In case you forgot, and it was probably easy after everyone in Cyclone nation was downing their second case of beer at halftime, KSU held Iowa State to 249 yards of total offense, converting just 4-of-15 third down attempts, and had three pickoffs.

Too early prediction

While not having John Hubert torch the Cyclone defense for over 100 yards will help this time around, Kansas State will be one of the best teams in the Big 12 next season, and it will be because of that defense. Plus, the team won’t be dealing with a dual-quarterback system now that Waters has full command and Daniel Sams has made his debut as a wide receiver.

Anything can certainly happen, and it’s actually a good thing that Iowa State is playing Kansas State earlier. Perhaps the Cyclones can pick up an upset at home before the Wildcats are able to shake the cobwebs off.

But don’t count on it. While anything can happen in the season opener against North Dakota State, week two will more than likely end with a loss. And that’s not taking anything from Iowa State, a football team that will look to improve and grow from last season. It’s just that KSU will be that much better all season long.

KSST 39, IAST 13