Cyclone Scuttlebutt: Looking forward to Oklahoma State
Rodney White, firstname.lastname@example.org
This stretch of three Big 12 Conference games was always going to be tough. Conventional wisdom was that if Iowa State could take one of the trio, then a bowl-game outlook is still a sensible target.
At TCU? That’s already a loss, and a tough one to take.
Home against West Virginia? You never know, but the Mountaineers might be the class of the conference, and the Cyclones’ offense is struggling.
That leaves this Saturday at Oklahoma State (2:30 p.m., ESPN2). The Cowboys have been blitzed by Texas Tech, so a victory opportunity is there.
Can the Cyclones (1-3, 0-2) get on the league victory scoreboard? Here’s some more about the starters who will give it a try in Stillwater.
Quarterback: Zeb Noland (6-foot-2, 218 pounds, sophomore) — There’s no sugar-coating it: Last week’s performance (14-for-28, 79 yards, a key fumble) was a disappointing step back. Time for the underclassman to continue his progression.
Running back: David Montgomery (5-11, 216, junior) — The guy is a workhorse and is super-tough. But that arm bruise was wince-worthy last week. His workload this Saturday will be closely monitored.
Fullback: Sam Seonbuchner (6-3, 244, senior) — Iowa State is the worst rushing team in the Big 12, by nearly 60 yards per game. Eek. Indictments everywhere there, but fullback has to be one of those sore spots.
M receiver: Deshaunte Jones (5-10, 185, Jr.) OR Tarique Milton (5-11, 176, Fr.) — Receiving gains were hard to come by last week, but Deshaunte Jones had the best of it for the Cyclones, grabbing three passes for 23 yards.
X receiver: Hakeem Butler (6-6, 225, Jr.) — Hakeem Butler is a dynamic player. Dynamic players need more than two catches in a conference road game. Period.
Z receiver: Matthew Eaton (6-4, 211, Sr.) — When the primary targets can’t get going, it becomes easier for defenses to also shut down reliable secondary targets. Eaton only saw two catches himself against the Horned Frogs.
Tight end: Chase Allen (6-7, 240, Soph.) OR Dylan Soehner (6-7, 271, Soph.) OR Charlie Kolar (6-6, 250, Fr.) — Allen is still battling injuries and is a question mark for the weekend. Kolar caught a 3-yard touchdown pass last week. Soehner has one catch on the year.
Left tackle: Julian Good-Jones (6-5, 296, Jr.) — The offensive line continues to come under scrutiny, and rightfully so. Good-Jones’ illness in last week’s game sure didn’t help matters.
Left guard: Josh Mueller (6-6, 309, Soph.) — The Iowa State offense is last in the Big 12 Conference in the most important output, at just 17.5 points per game.
Center: Colin Newell (6-4, 292, Fr.) — The starting streak will reach four this week, a nice vote of confidence for the hometown freshman.
Right guard: Josh Knipfel (6-5, 309, Jr.) — Newell has a long way to go to reach Knipfel’s starting streak, however. The Hampton native will hit No. 18 this weekend.
Right tackle: Bryce Meeker (6-6, 309, Jr.) — Final woe-is-the-offense stat, promise. The Cyclones are also last in the Big 12 at 299.5 total yards per game.
Stay tuned to see how much David Montgomery plays on Saturday.
Randy Peterson, email@example.com
Defensive end: JaQuan Bailey (6-2, 251, Jr.) — Bailey had a quiet day in the tackling department but had a fumble recovery last week against TCU.
Defensive end: Enyi Uwazurike (6-6, 283, Soph.) — Iowa State registered nine tackles for loss last week and has had at least six in 14 of the past 18 games. Uwazurike contributed to that effort in Fort Worth.
Nose guard: Jamahl Johnson (6-0, 295, Jr.) — The team numbers make up for quiet totals up front. The Iowa State defense has allowed just two of its past 12 opponents to score more than 20 points.
Defensive tackle: Ray Lima (6-3, 302, Jr.) — Clogging the run-game lanes is Lima’s specialty. Just one of Iowa State’s past 18 opponents (West Virginia) has crossed the 200-yard rushing plateau.
Linebacker: Marcel Spears Jr. (6-1, 215, Jr.) — Strong performance against the Horned Frogs last week. Seven tackles to go with a fundamentally sound tactical effort.
Linebacker: Willie Harvey (6-0, 224, Sr.) — What an effort by Harvey last week. Led all players with 12 tackles; six were solo stops.
Linebacker: Mike Rose (6-3, 228, Fr.) OR O’Rien Vance (6-1, 235, Fr.) — Rose’s quick development has been the defensive story of the year, for the most part. But Vance snagged a fumble recovery last week.
Star: Braxton Lewis (5-11, 186, Jr.) — The third-leading tackler last week with eight, the walk-on is becoming a mainstay as an upperclassman.
Iowa State safety Braxton Lewis talks about his early success this season and previews the Oklahoma State game.
Matthew Bain, Sports writer
Safety: Lawrence White (6-0, 191, Soph.) — More jaw-dropping totals from the scoring department: The Cyclones are allowing an average of 6.7 points by opposing offenses (not counting defensive or special-teams scores) in the second half over their past 15 games.
Safety: Greg Eisworth (6-0, 198, Soph.) — Another game of nine tackles. You’re watching a future superstar safety at the rate he’s developing.
Cornerback: Brian Peavy (5-9, 194, Sr.) — Peavy is still in front of that active pass breakup list at 39. Just two of the others in the top five even play at Power Five schools, to give some perspective of the difficulty in racking up this statistic.
Cornerback: D’Andre Payne (5-10, 188, Sr.) — One last defensive mind-blower: In seven of the past 12 games, Iowa State’s defense has held the opponent scoreless in the fourth quarter. That’s clutch, plain and simple.
Kicker: Connor Assalley (6-0, 191, So.) OR Chris Francis (6-0, 182, Sr.) OR Brayden Narvenson (6-0, 195, Fr.) — Nothing at all new here. Assalley kicked two extra points. Moving on.
Punter: Corey Dunn (6-1, 203, Soph.) — A rather pedestrian effort against TCU. This game wasn’t decided with special teams; seeing Dunn more than three times this week is bad news for the Cyclones.
Punt returner: Tarique Milton (5-11, 176, Fr.) OR Deshaunte Jones (5-10, 185, Jr.) — Just one punt was returned last week: Milton, for 4 yards.
Kick returner: Kene Nwangwu (6-1, 206, Soph.) — Just a sophomore, but #onpaceguy wants to let you know that Nwangwu’s 27.3-yard return average is the best in school history so far.
OKLAHOMA STATE PROJECTED STARTERS
Quarterback: Taylor Cornelius (6-6, 232, Sr.)
Running back: Justice Hill (5-10, 190, Jr.)
“Cowboy” back: Britton Abbott (6-2, 245, Sr.)
“Cowboy” back: Jelani Woods (6-7, 251, Fr.) OR Logan Carter (6-4, 245, Soph.)
Wide receiver: Tylan Wallace (6-0, 185, Soph.)
Wide receiver: Tyron Johnson (6-1, 193, Jr.)
Wide receiver: Dillon Stoner (6-0, 198, Soph.)
Left tackle: Arlington Hambright (6-5, 308, Jr.)
Left guard: Marcus Keyes (6-3, 309, Jr.)
Center: Johnny Wilson (6-3, 304, Jr.)
Right guard: Larry Williams (6-4, 330, Sr.)
Right tackle: Teven Jenkins (6-6, 310, Soph.)
Defensive end: Jarrell Owens (6-3, 265, Sr.) OR Cole Walterscheid (6-5, 260, Sr.)
Defensive end: Jordan Brailford (6-3, 250, Jr.)
Defensive tackle: Enoch Smith Jr. (6-2, 295, St.)
Defensive tackle: Trey Carter (6-3, 299, sr.)
Linebacker: Calvin Bundage (6-2, 215, Jr.)
Linebacker: Justin Phillips (6-0, 230, Sr.)
Cornerback: A.J. Green (6-1, 182, Jr.)
Cornerback: Rodarius Williams (6-0, 187, Soph.)
Safety: Kenneth Edison-McGruder (6-0, 220, Sr.)
Safety: Malcolm Rodriguez (6-0, 205, Soph.)
Safety: Thabo Mwaniki (5-11, 185, Soph.)
Kicker: Matt Ammendola (5-9, 195, Jr.)
Punter: Zach Sinor (5-10, 223, Sr.)
Kick returns: Chub Hubbard (6-1, 207, Fr.)
Punt returns: Dillon Stoner (6-0, 198, Soph.)
Source: Des Moines Register