Nov 7, 2020; Manhattan, Kansas, USA; Kansas State Wildcats quarterback Will Howard (15) stiff arms Oklahoma State Cowboys cornerback Christian Holmes (0) during a game at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports
Chris Williams, Publisher – Iowa State 27, Kansas State 20
I had Iowa State winning by two touchdowns until the “no fans” announcement was made earlier this week. Iowa State is a better team than the Wildcats, but we have all seen this movie play out before. K-State will keep it close but expect the Cyclones to be 6-1 heading into a monster Black Friday date with the Longhorns in Austin.
Jared Stansbury, Managing Editor – Iowa State 30, Kansas State 24
I know what the line says and I really feel like Iowa State is the better team, but I can’t get over the nervousness that associates the Cyclones playing this program. If Iowa State plays its game and doesn’t shoot itself in the foot, I could see the Cyclones covering. Let the Wildcats hang around with some self-inflicted mistakes… Well… Just make sure to have your anxiety meds handy.
Rob Gray, Senior Writer – Iowa State 28, Kansas State 17
Kansas State is just gritty enough, disciplined enough and talented enough to keep this close no matter how much its roster is affected by COVID-19. But one name and two words are key to this game: Breece Hall. The Wildcats haven’t been great against the run (seventh in the Big 12) and I expect ISU to be able to move the chains with Hall and Kene Nwangwu (plus, hopefully, a few designed runs for Brock Purdy). If the defense holds fast as usual, I see the Cyclones pulling away a little late in this one — even if K-State gets one of its signature special teams scores at some point.
Jay Jordan, Football Analyst – Iowa State 20, Kansas State 16
Iowa State is the better team. But, the player they need to be great is struggling. If Brock Purdy can provide a solid performance and the coverage teams hold up, then ISU can hold on to win here. A turnover will be key.
Jeff Woody, Football Analyst – Iowa State 34, Kansas State 17
This game is either going to be a complete blowout or a colonoscopy of a game for ISU fans. We all hope for the former, but there are no guarantees in Farmageddon. The advantages that Iowa State has are their entire offense and their entire defense. The advantages EMAW has are special teams, turnovers, and third downs. The big question marks are if Iowa State can mitigate any/all of those 3 strengths. If they can, this is nice and comfortable. But if they give up big special teams plays, turn it over more than once, or put themselves in long/stupid down and distances via mistakes, KSU is absolutely good enough to make this a fistfight.
Kevin Fitzpatrick, Contributor – Iowa State 28, Kansas State 21
K-State will block two field goals, return both a punt and a kickoff for touchdowns, and get a pick-six on Brock Purdy to really make the afternoon a “fun” one for Cyclone fans. Fortunately, that’s all the scoring the Wildcats will get as Iowa State does just enough to overcome the ghost of Bill Snyder*.
* Editor’s Note from Stanz: Bill Snyder is not dead but I think we all know what Fitzy meant here. Just wanted to clarify that for journalistic purposes.
Kirk Haaland, Contributor – Iowa State 27, Kansas State 20
Playing Kansas State will never not be a root canal complete PITA. I suspect this Saturday to be no different despite the weirdness around the Wildcat injury/COVID situation. With so much on the line I believe that even though Iowa State has a talent advantage this will be a torturous experience. The only way this game can be comfortable is if ISU can stay even or better on turnovers and special teams.