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Football

WILLIAMS: Top three Cy-Hawk storylines

AMES — Twenty-four hours to kickoff, here are my top three storylines for the 2015 Cy-Hawk game.

3 – Special teams

Vegas has this tabbed as a game that will be decided by a field goal. 

All week long on the RVTV trail, any credible person I’ve talked to has predicted a field goal game in one direction or the other. Fact: the last four Cy-Hawk games have been decided by six points or less. 

You cool, Cole Netten

Iowa State’s kicker surprisingly missed two field goals (both 40 yards and longer) in a week one win over UNI. This is the same guy who nailed the last second field goal in Kinnick Stadium last year (below). 

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Netten will obviously need to be sharper in against a much better Iowa team. 

In another special teams question, what about Iowa State’s ridiculous effort in the return game last week? Was that a product of an abysmal UNI performance or an impressive Iowa State unit? 

My guess is that it was probably a combination of both.

2 – Defensive line play

This isn’t saying much, but I’m sold that this is Iowa State’s best defensive line since 2005.

Remember the reports coming out of Iowa City during fall camp about how much Iowa’s offensive line was struggling?

However, the Hawks looked stout up front against Illinois State last Saturday. 

If I’m an Iowa fan though, I’m going to remain cautious about that group. I’ve got a hunch that Iowa State will blitz C.J. Beathard early and often. Or heck, maybe they won’t have to?

1 – Sammy Football

It’s time for everybody to come to terms with exactly who Sam Richardson is – not Johnny Manziel.

That’s not a dig at Sam, he just isn’t’ elusive enough to win games on his own. He can’t overcome poor offensive line play and you’ve got to give him a relevant running game to compliment the pass. The guy needs some help and that’s ok. 

Will he get that help on Saturday?

If so, I see Iowa having a hard time stopping Iowa State’s large and athletic group of wide receivers.