Here are the biggest names to watch as Iowa State tries to pick up their first win of the season against the in-state rivals, the Iowa Hawkeyes.
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Jordan Lomax (Iowa free safety)
If the Cyclones pass the ball a lot, they have to avoid this guy in the secondary. Lomax is just a junior, but already has more than duplicated what he’s done in the first two seasons combined with the Hawkeyes. He’s tied at the top with 18 total tackles on the year and he just moved into this position from cornerback this year. He could be the biggest threat to the receivers.
Jarvis West (ISU wide receiver)
West is the only player in the nation that has scored a touchdown in five different ways — two of those happened for the first time against Kansas State last week. The versatile athlete has emerged as the leading receiver at Iowa State and will likely be Sam Richardson‘s favorite target if he ends up throwing the ball a lot on the Hawkeyes. You can’t overlook the other receivers, Dondre Daley and Allen Lazard, but West also being a part of punt returns will make him a player to watch in two different phases of the game.
September 14, 2013; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones cornerback Jansen Watson (2) tackles Iowa Hawkeyes running back Mark Weisman (45) at Jack Trice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports
Mark Weisman (Iowa running back)
What is Iowa up to? A year after Weisman exploded onto the scene, it seems like the offense has taken a step back from the running game and has focused more on passing. Considering the back had over 100 yards on the ground against the Cyclones last year, they’d be foolish not to pound him against a defensive line that still remains pretty weak at putting on any pressure of stopping the opponent’s running attack.
Jake Campos (ISU offensive lineman)
The redshirt freshman at right tackle was thrown into the fire after senior Jacob Gannon left late last week. And you know what? He played pretty well considering the circumstances. He’ll have to aid Tom Farniok and company in a big way by carrying over that success against a stout Hawkeye defensive line. If the line gets beat up early and often, there will be no hope for the Iowa State offense to stay out on the field.
Iowa’s field goal kicking
I can’t list just one player because it will either be Marshall Koehn or Mick Ellis that will be doing the kicking, but neither have looked good at all to start this season. Both have missed multiple kicks from inside the 40 yard line. They aren’t close misses either; these are complete yanks to either side of the posts. In a game that might come down to kicks, Iowa may be forced to go for it if neither of these guys have gotten more accurate during the week.
- DeVondrick Nealy (ISU): In short down situations, the Cyclones may want to bring this guy in. He was hard for Kansas State to take down at times last week.
- Drew Ott (Iowa): The defensive lineman suffered a scooter accident early in the week. He’s expected to play, but it could be a slight weakness in the line if he’s hobbled.