Iowa State has another chance to upset a team that has its sights set on a national title, TCU. They were able to pull off a miracle at home against Oklahoma State in 2011. Since then? They are 0-11 against Top 25 times. There may not be snowball’s chance in hell the Cyclones can pull out a win, but they still have to be on the field for 60 minutes. And that’s why this preview exists.
Iowa State Cyclones vs. (3)TCU Horned Frogs
Amon G. Carter Stadium | Fort Worth, Texas
Saturday, December 6th, 2014 | Kickoff – 11:00 AM
TV: ABC | Stream: ESPN3 / WatchABC
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All sights will be set in Fort Worth to open up the last busy Saturday of the season. Just about everybody expects this thing to be an epic beatdown and TCU to secure their spot in the College Football Playoff. There could have been an argument for Baylor if they do beat Kansas State on Saturday night, but now that the Horned Frogs moved up to three, it’s next to impossible for them to be left out unless they lose (obviously). Looking flat against the Cyclones would also raise some questions.
Bottom line — TCU has to look really good to keep the naysayers and Baylor fans from bitching all weekend long. They’ll probably still do it anyway because head-to-head trumps all in their minds. Want to know where head-to-head trumps all? Go watch the NFL, because like it or not, that’s not how the College Football Playoff committee will only decide things.
TCU owns a 4-1 series lead over Iowa State. The Cyclones’ lone victory came in Fort Worth when the Horned Frogs were ranked. That was TCU’s first Big 12 conference home game and quarterback Trevone Boykin’s first start, and it also snapped the team’s 12-game winning streak.
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What to watch for
Nov 9, 2013; Ames, IA, USA; Texas Christian Horned Frogs Head Coach Gary Patterson calls for a timeout late in the game against the Iowa State Cyclones at Jack Trice Stadium. Texas Christian beat Iowa State 21-17. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports
Let’s be honest. Unless TCU pitches a horrible — and I mean extraordinarily disastrous — game, the purple guys are going to win. What this is all about for Iowa State is pride on national television. Everyone including Vegas believes TCU will win by five touchdowns.
Can the Cyclone defense avoid a milestone? That milestone is giving up over 6,000 yards on defense. Remember how terrible Iowa State defenses have been in recent memory? None of them gave up over 6,000 yards in a season! TCU needs just 375 yards offensively, which will be a tall order for the Iowa State defense.
On offense, there’s another milestone to look for. Iowa State needs 25 points to reach over 300 points scored this season. In the last four years, they’ve been extremely close to hitting 300 and went over it in 2012 with 319 — the most in the Paul Rhoads era.
Call me crazy, but — PSYCHE! Having to play in Fort Worth against a team that has aspirations to make the inaugural postseason tournament? Forget it. It’s one thing to overlook an opponent on the road while getting ready to play a rival like the Cowboys did in 2011. Think back to 2007 when Iowa State had to go to Kansas when they were ranked second in the nation. The Cyclones only had three wins and lost 45-7 on ABC.
It will be about as brutal. TCU rips through Iowa State early and often and will throw up a 60-burger. The Cyclones tack on a late touchdown to make it look not as terrible. After this, the interesting offseason will begin with questions surrounding the coaching staff.
TCU 60, Iowa State 23