Oklahoma State may have the best special teams that Iowa State has faced yet this season. It’s all thanks to not only improvement at both field goals and punting from last season, but the one-man wrecking crew the Cowboys have in the return game.
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- Ben Grogan (#19, 6-foot-1, 186 lbs., So)
Grogan has already improved on his kicking a year after his freshman campaign. He went just 11-for-18 (61.1 percent) in 2013 with the Cowboys opting to either go for it on fourth down or punt it more often than not. Now after making 9-of-12 this year, Oklahoma State will be more willing to kick as his range becomes longer. He missed his first three attempts past 40 yards, but he made a 47-yard kick against UTSA and a 42-yard kick against Texas Tech.
- Kip Smith (#35, 6-foot-1, 235 lbs., Sr)
Smith does both the punting and kickoff duties on special teams. He’s averaging 41.8 yards per kick and nailed 5-of-21 attempts inside the opponents’ 20 yard line. The senior is on pace to beat his average from last season.
- KR/PR Tyreek Hill (24, 5-foot-10, 185 lbs., Jr)
Didn’t we tell you this guy was a freak? Hill is listed as the starter at both punt and kick returning, and he leads the team with 203 kick return yards and another 83 punt return yards. Iowa State would be wise to simply kick away from this guy at all costs. On 10 kickoff returns, Hill averages 20.3 yards per return; on 10 punt returns, Hill averages 8.3 yards per return.
The Cyclones have to worry about Hill in four different areas in this game. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cowboys throw him in as a defender.