Game Preview 2022 II: Team Out East
Iowa State (1-0, 0-0) at TOE (1-0, 0-0)
Date: September 10
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Square: Kinnick Stadium
Line: TOE (-3.5)
TV: Big Ten Network
The last time we stopped…
Iowa State took care of business last Saturday, beating southeast Missouri State by a final score of 42-10. Hunter Dekkers shone in his starting debut throwing four touchdowns. He had an interception on a bad read, but that was easily forgotten with his stellar play the rest of the afternoon.
Xavier Hutchinson showed why he might be the best wide receiver in the Big 12. The Cyclone star had 8 receptions and three touchdowns on the afternoon. Cyclone’s rushing attack got off to a slow start but found its way into the second half. Jirehl Brock carried the rock 16 times for 104 yards and a touchdown in the afternoon.
The Iowa State defense rolled out a ton of new guys Saturday afternoon trying to play rotations and at times they looked like a young unit. Part of that may be that SEMO’s attack was totally different than it had been in years past and the preparation was a bit off. Nevertheless, they did what they were supposed to do and prevented SEMO from gaining major momentum.
Overall, it was a solid full game and much better for fans than previous FCS experiences that haunt us.
Information about the toes
TOE and the South Dakota State Jackrabbits had the offensive slugfest of their lives this past weekend in Iowa City. TOE would win the special teams battle and pin SDSU deep near the goal line and force two Jackrabbit safeties to take their point total up to 7. The Hoks from them would hold on to a 7-3 victory.
TOE would amass a total of 166 yards of offense in the win. Putting “a win is a win” to good use from the first week of the season. It’s been 41 years since a team scored 7 points without scoring a touchdown. Impressive.
Props to you TOE.
TOE holds the all-time series 46-22 and has won the last 6 of the Cy-Hawk series. Iowa State’s last win was in 2014 inside Kinnick Stadium. Pain.
Iowa State Offense
The Cyclone offense did pretty much what you could wish for in the first game of the season. They didn’t hold anything back and they opened up the passing offense a bit with a few down shots to show a bit of what to expect with Hunter Dekkers at the wheel.
Iowa State managed to rack up 469 total rushing yards against southeast Missouri State last Saturday. The Cyclones are averaging over 11 yards per pass and 4.8 yards per rush attempt. While the stats look good on paper, things will ramp up in terms of the opposition’s defense tomorrow. TOE is going to bring one of the best defensive lines, if not the best, that Iowa State will face all season. For an offensive line that took a little while to get going in last Saturday’s run blocking game, it’s going to have to happen a lot faster tomorrow.
First key to victory – Win Up Front
As I said earlier, TOE will provide a very good defensive front and that’s not even mentioning the linebackers. Iowa State is going to have to get the right side of its offensive line to block at the same level as the left side did last Saturday. The Cyclones gained most of their yards running left and TOE will be a team that can counter that. The line will have to function as one unit and play their best.
The TOE defense was up to par against South Dakota State last Saturday. The Jackrabbits barely managed to get the ball past the 50-yard line. The Hoks have held SDSU to 120 total yards and 2.1 yards per play. That’s not a recipe Iowa State can follow if it wants to succeed tomorrow.
The TOE defense is again led by Jack Campbell and Riley Moss. Campbell led the Hoks in tackles Saturday with 11 total tackles and Riley Moss walked away with 3 of his. In the game a season ago, Campbell and Moss combined for 16 total tackles and were key in keeping Iowa State’s offense at bay. There’s no real way for Iowa State to get away from them, but they’ll have to take a different offensive approach than in years past.
The TOE defense feasts on turnovers. Although this Hok team might not be able to rotate teams to a clip they did a season ago. It’s something that always lurks when you play Iowa City. Iowa State will have to keep the ball safe when it enters the field on Saturday.
The Verdict – Iowa
Although I think Iowa State can be better offensively this season with Dekkers in charge. In 2 of the last 3 games, TOE has held Iowa State in check and kept them from making noise offensively. With the quality of the TOE defense against South Dakota State, I would expect Dekkers, making his first career start, to find his own struggles tomorrow. I think the Cyclones will be able to move the ball through the air, but at the same time they will struggle to run the ball. It usually doesn’t combine well to win the battle.
Iowa State Defense
The Cyclone defense was pretty much the same on Saturday, just a bunch of new faces. The Cyclones messed up a ton of different formations and were able to get a ton of playing rep for the guys vying for playing time. We didn’t see much of star defense Anthony Johnson and Will McDonald, but they weren’t really necessary as Matt Campbell saw what he had in the other guys. Their experience will be needed on the road this week.
The Cyclone defense gave up 320 yards and a touchdown late in the second quarter. Second-half defense as usual from a group led by Jon Heacock was off. Southeast Missouri State hardly ever moved the ball past the 50-yard line.
While the TOE offensive line is kind of in makeshift mode, I still expect them to give Iowa State’s top three a test. Will McDonald will have to be a factor in stopping Spencer Petras from finding a rhythm and keeping his feet happy. I will also need to see the Cyclone linebackers play better. Last weekend against SEMO, they took bad angles and missed plays that you don’t normally see. The TOE racing game should give them the opportunity to correct these errors.
You listen to any of the media outlets that podcast for TOE and they’ve all said this is the worst TOE offense ever. Again, South Dakota State and Game 1 probably play a part in that as well. I think it’s safe to say that you probably won’t see it that badly again.
The Hawkeye offensive line is still trying to figure out life after Tyler Linderbaum. Injuries up front didn’t help matters either. Leshon Williams has been limited to 72 rushing yards on 24 carries and averaging 3.0. The Hares focused on selling to stop the run and get Spencer Petras to do some damage. SPOILER WARNINGS AHEAD!
Spencer Petras did not inflict any damage. The only damage he was able to cause was innocent bystanders hit by his passes flying out of bounds. The 5th year senior didn’t have a good day at the office. Petras was 11/25 for 109 yards and an interception. He even put up a whopping 1.1 quarterback rating.
Second key to the game – Put the game on Petras’ shoulders
It’s the same game key as last year. You must force Spencer Petras to fight. The Cyclones did it a season ago for the book. Petras was 11/21 for 106 yards and a touchdown. These were the other costly mistakes that doomed Iowa State that day.
TOE will more than likely be without Keagan Johnson once again. While Arland Bruce is a gifted player, the fact that he achieves this without an opposing weapon narrows things down for Iowa State. Sell to eliminate the run and Petras could still have a long day.
The Verdict – State of Iowa
Iowa State, though young on defense, should be able to withstand this TOE offense. I don’t think the Hoks will be able to solve all the problems they have in a week. I expect them to put in a better effort than they did against South Dakota State, but I’m not sure the difference will be drastic. Iowa State wins this area of the game.
Here we go again, another Cy-Hawk game and sort of special teams is going to be another key to this one. TOE used special teams to the max on Saturday against South Dakota State. The Hoks pinned the Jackrabbits deep multiple times, which ultimately led to two safeties that ultimately cost South Dakota State the game. As we know, special teams have cost Iowa State dearly in the last two TOE clashes.
Third Key to Victory – Win the Special Teams Game
You can come back to 2018 if you want, Iowa State went east and played the wrong side of court position all game and lost 13-3. 2019, was the failed punt and the Cyclones never had a chance to win it in the end. Then last year, TOE frequently pinned the Cyclones and allowed their defense to poke their ears out.
Iowa State must avoid being destroyed in special teams tomorrow if they want to have a chance in this one. The Cyclones didn’t show much against South Dakota State (not a ton of chances) to give me hope. I’ll just sit and pray to this beat.
The verdict – TOE
Until Iowa State can win this area of the game against the Hoks, there’s no way I’ll give them the verdict. I hope I’m wrong and things start to turn our way.
Winning scale from 1 to 10
Look, you can go to Casey’s and get some food from the stove. Either you get something decent or you get something that’s been hot for 3 hours and the kitchen staff never bothered to check (which would never happen at Kwik Star). Much like lunch at Casey’s, this game is just a big hit.
I think Iowa State has the horses in this one to attack the TOE defense in the air. Whether Campbell will make it or follow the same game plan remains to be seen. Hopefully this is the first option. I think it can be a race at 21 if anyone can pull it off. I don’t think we’ll see a major change from the TOE offense, but it will be a unit that won’t look as bad as it did against SDSU.
I also don’t trust stranger things to bounce on the way to Iowa State. Something about special teams or a roll of luck doesn’t necessarily side with Iowa State in this series. Until the rebounds go the way of the Cyclones, I don’t feel very good about the result.
Iowa State – 14
Out East Team – 17
Let us know your predictions in the comments below!