The last time K-State and Iowa State met on the gridiron, the game looked to favor the Cyclones until Paul Rhodes surrendered the game (and his job) to Bill Snyder and the Wildcats.
Matt Campbell, the youngest P5 head coach, is now at the helm of the Cyclones. And while the record hasn’t changed much, the feel of the program seems different.
K-State will need a complete game against the scrappy bunch in Ames that has already lost close games to Baylor and Oklahoma State, while strangely having far more trouble against Texas. The Cyclones are also coming off a bye week, and will have used that time to get healthy and gameplan for the Wildcats.
Just like last week, the key for the Wildcats will be if QB Jesse Ertz is healthy enough to keep the defense honest. He was able to run enough against Texas that they allowed him a lot of underneath throws to avoid big plays in the running game. Iowa State will have more film on this, and will likely try to take that away and force Ertz to use his damaged shoulder and beat them over the top. The running backs and o-line will need to help take pressure off the passing game and Ertz, or it could be a long morning offensively for the Cats.
This will likely be the second-easiest offense the defense will face this year. And that’s not a dig at Iowa State, just a realization that the athletes of K-State and ISU match up fairly equally, and the Cyclones don’t run the type of spread attack that gave the K-State defense fits against WVU, Tech, and OU.
Just like years past, this should be a fairly even game. But history and the stat book favor K-State in this one.
Lets hope history is right once again.