For the first time since the series was dubbed “Farmaggedon” the Kansas State Wildcats and Iowa State Cyclones will both be ranked in the top 25 (Coaches Poll). Kansas State is coming off a 56-16 blowout victory over in-state rival Kansas. Iowa State is coming off of a big road victory against nationally ranked TCU.
The past three meetings have all had two things in common: they were not highly anticipated games, and they were all extremely close and exciting games. In 2009, in Bill Snyder’s first season back as the head coach for Kansas State, K-State defeated Iowa State 24-23 in Arrowhead Stadium. K-State safety Emmanuel Lamur blocked an extra point, which would have tied the game, and gave the Wildcats the one-point victory.
In 2010, the two teams met up in Arrowhead Stadium again. And like the season before, the game went down to the wire, with K-State squeaking out a 27-20 victory over the pesky Cyclones. Last season, the Cyclones visited Kansas State, which was supposed to be a relatively easy victory. K-State was 9-2 entering the game, and Iowa State was 6-5. But yet again it was not a cake walk for the Cats; as they held on to win a very tight game, 30-23. Now Iowa State will be seeking revenge in the first K-State/Iowa State game played in Ames since 2007 (Iowa State won 31-20).
A Look at the Cyclones
The Iowa State offense has had their fair share of struggles this season. The struggles start with the quarterback play. The Cyclone quarterbacks have thrown 9 interceptions on the season, and both quarterbacks (who are both legitimate dual-threat QB’s) have not got it going on the ground. For the Cyclone offense to be effective they need the play of the QB to step up.
Quarterback – Starting at quarterback for the Cyclones will be sophomore Jared Barnett who replaces SR Steele Jantz. Barnett started 6 games last season for the Cyclones (including the game in Manhattan). So far this season he has thrown for 214 yards with 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. His accuracy has been a cause for concern (53.3% this season 50% last season). His backup, Jantz, is just as dangerous. He has shown to have a more accurate arm this season, but the mistakes he has made (throwing 7 interceptions) has led to Barnett starting. Barnett defeated TCU last week, and if he defeats K-State this week look for him to be the Cyclones starter for the rest of his collegiate career.
Running Backs – Iowa State has a very talented group of halfbacks. Officially starting will be JR James White. White currently leads the team in yards (264) as well as touchdowns (2). Leading the team in carries is Shontrelle Johnson (49). Thus far into the season Johnson has 229 yards rushing also. Another threat for the clones will be JR Jeff Woody. Woody hasn’t been as productive as he has the past two seasons, but he is still the bruiser for Iowa State. Anytime Iowa State gets in short yard territory look for Woody to step up and make a play.
Wide Receivers and Tight Ends – The Cyclones biggest offensive threat comes in SR WR Josh Lenz. The wide receiver unit is senior led with Lenz, Chris Young, and Aaron Horne all being senior starters. The unit is very balanced having 6 players with 9 or more catches on the season (Lenz leads with 18). They also use SR Jerome Tiller quite a bit as well. All of these receivers are serious threats, but Lenz is the big name here. At tight end for the Cyclones is JR Ernst Brun. Brun has 7 catches on the season with 3 of them being touchdowns.
Offensive Line – The offensive line for Iowa State is another big talented and experienced line in the big 12. Starting at LT will be massive 6’8 304 LB SR Carter Cykowski. This monster has started 10 games in his Iowa State career. At LG will be 6’4 310 LB JR Ethan Tuftee making his 7th career start. The most experienced player on the line will be the youngest in SO C Tom Farniok (6’4 290 LBS) who will make his 19th consecutive start. On the right side of the line will be JR Kyle Lictenberg (6’6 301 LB RG), and SR Brayden Burris (6’6 298 LB RT)
The defensive unit for Iowa State is not one to be taken lightly. They have one of (if not the) best groups of linebackers in the nation. The most points they have allowed this season has been 24 to an explosive Texas Tech team. Iowa State only allows 3.3 yards per carry, and have already forced 9 fumbles (recovering 3), and intercepted 9 passes.
Defensive Line – The front 7 for Iowa State is a run stopping machine. They are senior led with 5 of the 7 starters being seniors and the other 2 players being JRs. On the line are SR’s Cleyon Laing (10 tackles, 2 sacks), Jake McDonough (17 tackles, 2 sacks), and Roosevelt Maggitt (14 tackles, 2 sacks). The lone JR is LE Willie Scott (10 tackles, 1 sack). Combined they have 11.5 tackles for loss. They are an aggressive unit, and the K-State offensive line has to be prepared.
Linebackers – This is by far the Cyclones best unit on their team. Leading this unit for Iowa State are senior’s Jake Knott and AJ Klein. These two linebackers are one and two on the Cyclones in tackles (Knott 44, Klein 39). Together they have combined for 64 starts (all of them consecutive). They both have been active in both run-stopping, as well as pass coverage. Knott has 2 interceptions, Klein has an interception, and combined they have 8 pass breakups. The third starting linebacker is JR Deon Broomfield (19 tackles, 1 interception, 7 pass breakups).
Secondary – This secondary unit is another SR lead unit. In fact there are no sophomores or freshman in the entire starting lineup for this Iowa State defense. Starting a RCB is JR Jansen Watson (19 tackles, 5 pass breakups). At LCB will be the most experienced member of the secondary in SR Jeremy Reeves (24 tackles, 4 pass breakups) who will be making his 28th career start. The starting safeties are SR Durrell Givens (29 tackles, 1 interception/1 pass breakup) and JR Jaques Washington (28 tackles, 3 interceptions).
Starting at Kicker will be Edwin Arceo. Arceo has been very inconsistent on the season. He has already missed three extra points (14-17). He is also 4-6 on field goals this season with a long of 49 yards. However, the Cyclones starting Punter is on the opposite side of the spectrum. JR Kirby Van Der Kamp has been a very consistent punter. So far this season Van Der Kamp has kicked 7 punts for more than 50 yards, and has averaged 43.3 yards per kick. Van Der Kamp has also landed 16 of his 31 punts inside the 20.
Kick returning for the clones will be Jarvis West who has a long of 25 yards. Punt returning will be Aaron Horne who has returned a punt 48 yards, but none for touchdowns. The Cyclones have held their opponents to 25.2 yards per kick off return, and 8.2 yards per punt return respectively.
3 Keys to a Wildcat Victory
- Attack the quarterback – When the Cyclones QB struggles, the entire offense struggles. Get Barnett on the ground, early and often. Don’t get me wrong, Iowa State has a great rushing attack! K-State has to stop the rushing attack as well, but if they force ISU to run the ball it will give K-State a big advantage.
- Smart, successful passing attack – The talent on Iowa States defense is all over the field. That being said the biggest weakness is in their secondary. That being said, if you try to beat them deep you will get burned. Washington is one of the best safeties in the league, and even with Klein at QB I would not test him. Short successful passes will set up a rushing attack as the All-American linebackers will be forced to cover receivers.
- Start fast – K-State got off to a very slow start against KU. They can’t do that against a team like Iowa State. The game is sold out, and Iowa State officials are saying at it could be the largest crowd in Jack Trice Stadium history. The cats cannot allow that crowd to get into the game, and allow it to fuel the already talented defense.
This match up really scares me for K-State. Iowa State is a great defense against the run, and very underrated against the pass. Not to mention Paul Rhodes is one of the absolute best coaches in the country. Iowa State is senior led on offense as well as defense, and is playing in a very tough stadium. However, Iowa State has not faced a team with the offensive power that K-State carries. It won’t be easy, but I think that Kansas State will be able to expose Iowa States secondary which will open up the running game late in the game.
K-State wins 31-21
On the year Brandon 29-4 Deante 29-4 Jordan 26-7 Paul 28-5
|Brandon Starkey||DeAnte Mitchell||Jordan Bayless||Paul Badke|
|KSU @ ISU||KSU 31-21||KSU 24-14||KSU 17-13||KSU 34-27|
|TEX vs OU||OU 31-27||TEX 38-31||OU 31-20||OU 41-31|
|OSU @ KU||OSU 42-21||OSU 52-14||OSU 45-14||OSU 52-17|
|WVU @ TECH||WVU 55-31||WVU 56-17||WVU 52-21||WVU 52-35|
|TCU @ BAY||BAY 45-24||TCU 31-17||BAY 41-21||BAY 35-17|