Football

CF Staff Picks: Cy-Hawk

Sep 8, 2018; Iowa City, IA, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes running back Toren Young (28) is tackled by Iowa State Cyclones linebacker Marcel Spears Jr. (42) at Kinnick Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Williams, Publisher – Iowa State 20, Iowa 17

Check out this week’s Thesis for a complete breakdown of this game. 

Jared Stansbury, Staff Writer – Iowa State 17, Iowa 14

I can’t possibly envision a scenario in which almost every CF contributor picking Iowa State comes back to bite us. That has certainly never happened before. All jokes aside, I think some folks looking at this matchup are severely discounting the talent on Iowa State’s defense. This will be like a heavyweight fight from the opening kick. Brock Purdy connects with Tarique Milton within the game’s final minutes to deliver the knockout blow.

Brent Blum, Columnist – Iowa State 23, Iowa 16

Iowa State’s defense isn’t getting enough love in this match-up. I don’t believe Iowa will be able to establish a consistent ground game and that means Nate Stanley has to navigate Iowa State’s amoeba defense without being a dual-threat. When Iowa State has faced this in the last couple of years (see Will Grier, West Virginia and Kenny Hill, TCU) the QB became a sitting duck and led to turnovers and chaos. I think Iowa State will struggle in its own right to gain consistency on offense, but Purdy’s play-making is the difference.

Rob Gray, Senior Writer – Iowa State 21, Iowa 17

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz is 11-9 against Iowa State, which means he was 7-9, of course, until the Hawkeyes current four-game win streak in the Cy-Hawk Series. So what, you say? I understand. It simply indicates that this hyped game has been keenly competitive during the past 20 years. Blowouts are pronounced outliers, so expect more of the usual rather than the exceptional on Saturday. Both defenses are strong from the front to the back end, but the Cyclones have more proven depth on that side of the ball. That should show up as this likely low-scoring game grinds on. ISU should be able to corral the Hawks’ running backs, which would limit quarterback Nate Stanley’s productivity. Brock Purdy will, by necessity, provide more dual-threat moments than he did in a rock-solid, but buttoned-up performance in the too-close-for-comfort win over UNI. End result? Iowa’s streak in the series ends, but not without tension permeating all 60 minutes (or more) of the game.

Jay Jordan, Football Analyst – Iowa State 27, Iowa 13

Iowa State is underrated by Hawk loyalists.  Iowa State gets the edge and stresses the secondary deep while remaining strong against the run. A key turnover provides the margin.

Jeff Woody, Football Analyst – Iowa 22, Iowa State 16

This game is going to be physical as hell. Large swaths of the game are going to seem like nothing’s happening, but for the first time in a while, that doesn’t disadvantage the Cyclones. Containing Iowa’s running game will be the most important aspect of this game.

Last year was last year and it proved that I can’t be trusted with picks. I thought things were different this year. So I picked Iowa State big ATS against Northern Iowa. 

Don’t touch the baselines coming off the field. Keep the same socks every week. Always eat your game day cereal in the morning with the same Thomas the Train spoon and matching pajamas……. wait, that one’s just me?

Kevin Fitzpatrick, Contributor – “Hawks 31, Clowns 13”

Things don’t usually go smoothly when the entire CF staff picks in favor of Iowa State, so while I’m on the record as thinking ISU will win this game by opening the playbook and executing better than they did against UNI, I’ll submit another prediction to make sure we don’t complete the unholy alignment of the stars.

THUS, since I know I can count on finding plenty of delusions there, I am going to wade through the filth of an unnamed Iowa message board and recycle word-for-word one of my favorite Hawkeye fan predictions for this game:

“Iowa was pinned often last week and managed to get out and score. I always worry about this game but this year I actually feel good. Hawks show up and handle business.”

Kirk Haaland, Stats Guru – Iowa State 24, Iowa 20

There has been plenty of talk about Matt Campbell’s 0-3 record vs Iowa and what it all means, but here is what I know; Iowa State had a 10-point 4th quarter lead in his only home game against the Hawkeyes in 2017 where a costly interception was key in Iowa forcing overtime as well as one of the greatest individual efforts we’ve ever seen from Akrum Wadley. In that game, we all thought the Cyclones needed to force Nate Stanley to win the game and he more or less did with support from Wadley’s huge performance.

The optics of the 2019 matchup are showing a Cyclone team that struggled with an FCS team and an Iowa team that has won two games, convincingly. ISU will need to figure out the offense with the potential offensive line shuffle and clean up the “details” that stonewalled their drives against Northern Iowa.

This series has most often been lower scoring than expected and turnovers are unsurprisingly important (in the last 19 meetings the team that has won the turnover battle has won the game, exceptions being: Iowa State -2 in 2012, Iowa State -2 in 2011, Iowa -1 in 2006, and Iowa -1 in 2004).

I think the Cyclone defense is as good as advertised but they need to find a way to create some big havoc plays that they often just missed on and/or UNI avoided falling into in the first game of the season. If the offense can avoid the drive-killing mistakes and find some room to run on the ground they should be in good shape. It may well turn into a match of which quarterback can make the throws and the big plays against the opposing stout defense. At home, I’ll lean to Brock Purdy and his elusiveness that we should see more of than we did in week 1.

Jared Stansbury

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Jared is in his sixth year covering Iowa State football and basketball for Cyclone Fanatic. He's the site's lead reporter for ISU recruiting. He worked as the site's intern for three years while studying Journalism in Iowa State's Greenlee School of Journalism. He started as the full-time staff writer in May 2016. Jared spent five falls covering Iowa high school football as a reporter for KMA Radio, 1460 KXNO and 1430 KASI.