Kansas State vs Iowa State football: Game preview and prediction


It’s been a long time since Iowa State (0-1) has defeated Kansas State (1-0). In fact, they haven’t defeated the Wildcats since 2007, when they had just one victory on the season and came in with a six-game losing streak.

While nearly all of those losses against KSU happened by a touchdown or less, the worst of them happened last year when the Cyclones were noncompetitive in Manhattan. They’ll hope to change that in Ames as the season already enters desperation mode.

Kansas State Wildcats at Iowa State Cyclones

Jack Trice Stadium | Ames, Iowa
Saturday, September 6, 2014
Kickoff: 11:00 AM CT | TV: FOX Sports 1

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Iowa State fans will experience two different rivalries in two weeks. First is “Farmageddon” this week, the much more cooler of the two. Teams, players, and fans have respect for each other because they both know their history. None of it is football rich, and Bill Snyder finally turned things around for Kansas State and is one of the more respected head coaches in the entire football community.

Snyder stepped away for a couple years, but he got right back into coaching at KSU and they picked up where they left off. They’ve been contenders for the Big 12 title and will expect to be right up there again this season. ISU will try to turn this into a rivalry again, but it’s been unraveling since 1990 — the Cyclones have only won four times in the last 24 meetings.

Manhattan smackdown

Last year, the beatdown in Manhattan was similar to Iowa State getting hammered by North Dakota State last Saturday — just take out the 14-0 start. The Wildcats had 447 yards of total offense equally distributed on the ground and in the air. More plays were ran on the ground, but when both Jake Waters and Daniel Sams did their damage in the air, it was efficient. Both quarterbacks went a combined 13-for-20 for 221 yards and a touchdown.

It was a slow burn with 20 points in the first three quarters, but Kansas State piled it on in the fourth quarter with three more touchdowns before Iowa State could finally get on the board.

Dec 28, 2013; Tempe, AZ, USA; Kansas State Wildcats wide receiver

Tyler Lockett

(16) against the Michigan Wolverines during the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Looking at the Wildcats

Luckily, Kansas State comes in a little less threatening on the ground. Gone is Sams and lead running back John Hubert, but that doesn’t mean the Wildcats don’t have anybody to run. Expect Waters to scramble among senior RB DeMarcus Robinson and sophomores Charles Jones and Jarvis Leverett Jr.

If Kansas State isn’t as successful on the ground, they still have weapons at receiver — obviously including Tyler Lockett. He reeled in five catches for 72 yards last year. He’s the biggest offensive threat coming back from last year, but Snyder doesn’t want this offense to become just about Lockett. He knows the Cyclones will concentrate on the receiver, and he’ll try to get everyone going in Ames.

What to watch for

Tom Farniok could be the most important player on the offense. When he was out against the Bison, Mark Mangino decided to throw the ball more and the offense got absolutely nothing going. If Iowa State wants to move the ball on Kansas State, they have to run the ball and utilize Farniok to open holes for Aaron Wimberly and DeVondrick Nealy.

The offensive line will feel the effects of Jacob Gannon leaving the football team — the right tackle was a starter and a senior, but the Cyclones will have to find a way to move on with Jake Campos, a four-star 2013 recruit that will be thrown into the fire.

Running the ball will open up the passing game, which is what the Cyclones desperately need. When Sam Richardson goes to pass, he has to watch out for Ryan Mueller. The defensive end is a beast and is joined by a line that’s mostly experienced coming back. If he’s not getting the sacks, somebody else could. If Iowa State’s receivers struggle to get open like they did against NDSU, we’ll definitely be seeing Richardson scramble more. That needs to happen less.

Also, this is just a hunch, but Colin Downing better be as great as he was in his debut. Don’t be surprised if Kansas State sends the house to try and distract the freshman and to force him to make a bad punt.

Click here to read the prediction of this game and the other Big 12 games this weekend.