This is the first matchup between the Wildcats and Cyclones in Ames since 2007, which happens to be the last time that Iowa St. beat KSU. Sure, the ‘Cats may have won four straight in this series, but they’ve won those game by an average margin of six points. Another close game is expected on Saturday, especially since the game is expected to be played in heavy rain.
A soggy field would seem to benefit K-State which boasts the 9th best rushing attack in the country, but Iowa State wants to run the ball as well. Interestingly, the game features two of the stingiest scoring defenses in the Big 12. The Cyclones will need it, as the Wildcats come in as the nation’s 11th highest scoring team, throw in a clear advantage in the kicking game and you’ve got a 6 ½ point favorite on the road.
Kansas State has won 6 of their last 7 games on the road. They are looking for their third straight road win against a ranked opponent in the Big 12. Kansas State was 7 and 6 in Bill Snyder’s first season back on the sideline, since then the ‘Cats have gone 15-3.
Odd- but true—
A year ago Kansas State lead the country in time of possession, so far this season opponents have out possessed the ‘Cats by about a minute a game. K-State’s ability to stretch the field in the passing game is one of the big reasons. The Wildcats needed just 32 plays over 7 drives to score 49 points against KU—they’re scoring at a much higher rate than last year.
Key matchup in Ames—
Collin Klein and John Hubert against the heart of the ISU defense –its linebackers. KSU has run the ball against every defense it’s faced, that’s a trend they need to continue today. These are very similar teams—run first, throw second—few penalties and turnovers—bend but don’t break defense. Iowa State has not been consistent in the kicking game and that can often be the difference in a close game.
One man’s opinion—
K-State 27 Iowa State 17