Iowa State vs. Kansas football: Five keys to victory


The best equivalent to Iowa State’s matchup at Kansas is sort of like the day after an exam. Many students like to take this day off because they know it’s just review garbage. So they skip the day. Then, they come back next class and find out 100 extra credit points were handed out for those that showed up, and there was also free pizza and beer.

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Iowa State can’t be those guys that just skip review day. Plus, their game against Oklahoma is the equivalent of getting a 15 percent on the exam. Here’s what the Cyclones need to do to get out of Lawrence victorious.

1. Don’t let the beatdown by Oklahoma drag into Kansas

The worst thing Iowa State can do is come into Lawrence over-anxious to prove that they’re a lot better than they showed against the Sooners. That will lead to more dropped passes and another day with nothing from the running game.

2. Iowa State has played its best away from Ames

Usually having just five road games on the slate means an easier time managing the schedule, but strangely enough, the Cyclones have played better on the road than they have in Jack Trice Stadium this year. They got the win over Iowa, played a great first half against Oklahoma State, and was in a thrilling shootout with Texas. However ISU prepares for their road games — keep doing it.

Nov 17, 2012; Lawrence, KS, USA; Iowa State Cyclones quarterback Sam Richardson (12) throws a pass against the Kansas Jayhawks in the first half at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

3. The Cyclones offense must stay on the field

It’s pretty clear that this defense is dead tired, and the offense needs to do everything possible to help them out. That means shortening this game. Kansas isn’t that great at…well, anything, and there should be gaps open for Aaron Wimberly to run through. If he can’t, throw in DeVondrick Nealy. If he can’t, throw in anyone who can. A combination of running plays for both Sam Richardson and the running backs will be key — and it will also help Richardson’s shoulder.

4. Prepare for Kansas to go for it on 4th down

The Jayhawks’ place kicker, Matthew Wyman, is a mediocre 6 of 12 when it comes to kicking field goals this season. He’s missed at least one in every game he’s attempted a kick. More than likely, Kansas will go for it unless they are in chip-shot range in Iowa State territory. Which is good, because Kansas has converted just 2 of 14 4th down conversion attempts.

5. Nigel Tribune must be healthy in the secondary

Because Kansas has had more success passing the ball with Michael Cummings, it will be key for the secondary to shut down any sort of air attack. Tribune wasn’t the only one missed, but you could tell that he was out of the picture. Things just came a little too easy for Oklahoma and their receivers.

Hopefully there won’t be any injuries on the defensive unit as a whole. Bob Stoops did everything he could to exploit the backups coming in and he was able to get his team to reel in over 750 total yards and over 500 rushing yards. If this defense can hold Corey Avery and De’Andre Mann to under 200 yards combined, that should be considered a success.