The Iowa State Cyclones are hoping this year will be the year that they turn their losing tide around in the Big 12. It will not be easy for new head coach Matt Campbell who was formerly with Toledo.
University of Northern Iowa
The season kicked off on September 3 against cross-state rivals the University of Northern Iowa but it was not the day to be a Cyclone fan as they narrowly lose to UNI 25 to 20. One of the things that Iowa State must fix in the very near future if they want to be successful is the sloppy play that was witnessed during this game.
The second game of the season will also be with a cross-state rival as Iowa State travels to take on the Hawkeyes. As football fans in Iowa know, this game often produces many surprises. During the season opener, the Hawkeyes gave up 424 total yards. In order to win this game, the Cyclones must stop their sloppy play and take advantage of the Hawkeyes weaker defense.
Texas Christian University
Many Cyclone fans are excited about Iowa State’s offensive lineup this year. It will take everything that Iowa State can put on the field to even stay close in this game. Many experts think that the Horned Frogs may win the Big 12 Conference in 2016. The young offense of Iowa State that has only six career Division I starts under its belt will have to mature in a hurry or this could be a massive blowout for TCU.
San Jose State
The Cyclones may win against San Jose State if the team can get quarterback Mike Warren the ball numerous times during this game. Despite the loss of San Jose’s Tyler Ervin, Iowa State must take away San Jose’s rushing game to win this game. The Cyclones should be helped by their loyal fans during this home opener.
When a team looses a head coach it can hurt the morale of the team. Yet, Baylor may be able to recover if quarterback Seth Russell and running back Shock Linwood can stay around for this game. Baylor is down to 70 full scholarships which may hurt their depth this year. Long drives that keep Baylor’s offensive side-lined will be key to keeping the Cyclones in this game.
Oklahoma State will once again be one of the quickest teams in the Big 12. Additionally, they will be aided by the return of 17 players from last year’s squad that beat Iowa State 35 to 31 last season. Helping spur the Cyclones to a possible victory may be reminders of that heartbreaking loss. It is always tough to play at Boone Pickens Stadium and this game will be no exception.
Depending on the outcome of earlier games, both teams may have a lot riding on this match up. For Iowa State, it may be a chance to prove that they can pull off a victory on the road, while if Head Coach Charlie Strong’s team loses this game, he will probably be looking for a new job next year. The Cyclones could easily win this game. It will not be an easy one, as the Longhorns returning eight players to the field this year who should show plenty of speed.
The best game of the season may be when Kansas State comes to Ames. The last time these teams met, Kansas State won on faulty play calling giving Kansas State a 38-35 win on a field goal with 7 seconds remaining in the game. Alternatively, if quarterback Jesse Ertz who suffers from ACL problems does not stay healthy, Iowa State should easily win this game.
Tickets should go very fast when the Sooners comes to Ames. After all, fans will have the chance to watch Iowa State’s Warren and Oklahoma’s Perine battle each other. Both players are smart and very quick. The Cyclones may have a secret weapon in this game as the Sooners may be looking beyond it as they take on Baylor the next weekend.
Fans should see an improved Kansas State team take the field in 2016, although it remains questionable if the team will be good enough to beat Iowa State at home. Coach David Beaty is in his second year with the Jayhawks and he will need to prove that he can win games against tough opponents like the Cyclones.
Experience may work in the Cyclone’s favor when Tech comes to town. Since this game is late in the regular season, it really depends on how fast Tech’s new offensive line can learn to protect quarterback Patrick Mahomes. This game may be one of the closest of the season with fans needing to remember that Mahones is unusually fast for a quarterback. Helping the Cyclones stay hungry for victory, this game could very well determine if they go on to a bowl game.
West Virginia may be one of the easiest games on the Cyclone’s schedule this year. So far, the Mountaineers have not shown that they can play together as a team. If the Cyclones can, then the regular season should end with a decisive victory.