STAFF PICKS: Southeast Missouri

Chris Williams, Publisher – Iowa State 56, SEMO 7

While I fully understand the anxiety Iowa State has traditionally given fans in the month of September under Matt Campbell, this one feels different to me. SEMO is a different level of bad. 

Jared Stansbury, Managing Editor – Iowa State 42, SEMO 17

It wouldn’t shock me to see this game be close through the first half then Iowa State’s depth takes over in the second half. It won’t necessarily be a stressful afternoon, but it won’t be an easy one either.

Connor Ferguson, Staff Writer – Iowa State 51, SEMO 7

If there was ever an opponent for Iowa State to expect a blowout in, it’s SEMO. This is the type of team everyone wishes they had played rather than UNI or another FCS powerhouse. I think Rocco Becht sees the field at some point for the Cyclones and SEMO gets on the board thanks to running back Geno Hess.

Jeff Woody, Football Analyst – Iowa State 49, SEMO 13

This is a season opener that I’m excited about but for very different reasons than years past. Imagine it’s Christmas morning, and there’s a wrapped thing with your name on it shaped like a bicycle. You’re pretty sure you know what it is going to be, just not the specifics. That was last year’s season opener. In another Christmas situation is a big box with your name on it that’s not any obvious shape. It could be something cool, maybe even cooler than a bike! Or it could be a few pillows. Which is fine, but nothing to write home about. That big box is this season. There are so many things this season could be, but we don’t *really* know what. We’re just pretty sure it will not be that garbage tin of kettle corn. 

This game kicks that season off with a bang. I think we see an offense that’s much more vertically aggressive and a defense that doesn’t miss a beat from last year against an overmatched opponent. A little sluggish early, then ISU takes off.

Jay Jordan, Football Analyst – Iowa State 26, SEMO 21

I think SEMO will be a typical first-game struggle for Iowa State. They can control and move the ball and turnovers will be key. Tighter than the hoped-for result.

Jared Stansbury


Jared a native of Clarinda, Iowa, started as the Cyclone Fanatic intern in August 2013, primarily working as a videographer until starting on the women’s basketball beat prior to the 2014-15 season. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State in May 2016, Jared was hired as the site’s full-time staff writer, taking over as the primary day-to-day reporter on football and men’s basketball. He was elevated to the position of managing editor in January 2020. He is a regular contributor on 1460 KXNO in Des Moines and makes regular guest appearances on radio stations across the Midwest. Jared resides in Ankeny with his four-year-old puggle, Lolo.