Just a year ago the Cyclones traveled to Kinnick Stadium where they lost to the Iowa Hawkeyes 42-3. The Hawkeyes dominated the entire game in every aspect, to extend their Cy-Hawk Series win streak to two. The game was nothing short of embarrassing for Iowa State University.
But this is a new year, and as the saying goes, “Third time’s a charm.” Both teams are coming off wins in week one (ISU 42 UNI 24, Iowa 24 Wyoming 3) and gave their respective fan bases a reason to be excited.
The Hawkeyes started slow on the offensive side, but a Wyoming missed punt (yes, the punter whiffed on the punt) to end the first half sparked a late score to give the Hawkeyes a 14-3 lead.
The Iowa defense is stingy, and will be no easy task to defeat. They held first round NFL prospect Josh Allen to 174 yards and picked him off twice. They also held the team to only 59 total yards on the ground.
On the offensive side, Hawkeye workhorse Akrum Wadley rushed for 116 yards on 24 carries. Wadley can lower his shoulder or put a quick move on you, and is the Hawkeyes’ biggest threat on the offensive end. While freshman quarterback Nathan Stanley threw for three touchdowns, even though he completed just eight of his 15 attempts.
There has been a lot of hype around this Cyclone offense, and deservingly so, but not as much hype about the defense. On Saturday, it was the defense that stepped up big for the Cardinal and Gold. When Iowa State fell behind 7-0 and punted on their first drive, most of the Cyclone fanbase was thinking, “Here we go again.”
Instead of rolling over or losing fire, the defense picked the offense up with two pick sixes and the team never looked back. David Montgomery dominated on the ground, Jacob Park was throwing dimes to all of his receivers and Lazard broke the Iowa State record for most receptions in a career.
So what do the Cyclones have to do to hold up the Cy-Hawk trophy at Jack Trice tomorrow?
It all starts on the defensive side. If they can rattle Stanley in his first ever Cy-Hawk game, contain Wadley and win the turnover battle, I really like their chances. Scoring points will be no easy task against the Hawkeye defense, but they won’t be able to hold them out of the end zone all day like Wyoming.
If the Cyclones want to make a bowl game this year, this is a must win.It’s going to come in dramatic fashion, but those bowl game hopes will be as high as ever.
Prediction: Iowa State 21 Iowa 20