After the University of Iowa’s weak performance against UNI last week, and the 34-17 victory over NDSU in Iowa State’s home opener, Cyclone fans are very optimistic going into Saturday’s showdown with the Hawks. This is the game all Iowa fans wait for, whether you’re a Cyclone or a Hawkeye, and a lot of pride rides on the outcome of this rivalry. Who will be the best college football team in the state of Iowa for 2009? The answer for most fans lies in the outcome of this game. The Iowa State Cyclones play host to the Hawkeyes this Saturday at 11 am in what should be a very entertaining game. This game could really go either way for a number of reasons. Below is list of advantages for each squad:
The Cyclones Win If…
I personally like the Cyclones’ chance in this one. Here are a few reasons why. The Cyclones will win because…
- Cyclone Offense: The Cyclones showed a lot of improvement on the offensive side of the ball under new offensive coordinator Coach Tom Herman. They racked up over 440 yards on NDSU and looked great moving the chains both on the ground and through the air.
- Emergence of Stars on Offense: Not only did Austen Arnaud show up for the NDSU game, but Marquis Hamilton and running back Alexander Robinson had coming out parties as well. They should get a lot of looks against the Hawks and should burn them for at least a pair of touchdowns. The stars will shine on Saturday!
- Cyclones Home Field Advantage is Huge: The Hawkeyes have a really tough time at Jack Trice Stadium, the Cyclones haven’t lost at home to the Hawks since 2003. Also, the Cyclones are 7-3 in the last 10 meetings against the Hawks. The Hawkeyes looked pretty bad in their opener and relied on a pair of blocked field goals to save the game. Don’t think you will get saved by any miracles at Jack Trice Stadium!
- Hawks Rushing Troubles and Third Down Efficiency: While the Iowa Hawkeyes O-line is supposed to be great, the Hawks only rushed for 87 yards on 31 carries against UNI. That’s a grim 2.8 yards per rush, plus, the Hawkeyes went 3 for 12 on their third down conversions.
- Hawks Show Weakness Against the Pass: The Hawkeyes secondary gave up an eye opening 270 yards through the air against UNI. If they don’t lock up their coverage come Saturday, Austen Arnaud will throw all over them in the new spread offense that produced 240 yards through the air against the NDSU secondary. Look for Arnaud to throw for a good 240 yards and a pair of TDs.
The Hawkeyes Win If…
A lot of Hawkeyes disagree with me and going to school in Iowa means that the Hawk fans are gonna let you know how great their Hawkeyes are. Here are a few reasons why the Cyclones may have trouble with the Hawks. The Hawks will win because…
- Their Offensive Line: The Iowa Hawkeyes have a huge O-line this year and that, combined with the Cyclone’s undersized D-line could spell disaster for the Clones in the ground game. The Hawkeyes O-line should be able to open up some good lanes for their backs to break through. Watch out for a big game from freshmen tailback Adam Robinson. The Hawkeyes could easily rush for 200 yards total against the Cyclones.
- Hawkeye Offense: Quarterback Rick Stanzi leads a solid offensive squad. He is the star returning player and has a great offensive line in front of him. Stanzi has a number of great options to throw to in Senior TE Tony Moeaki, and veteran wideouts Trey Stross and Derrell Johnson-Koulianos. First year RB Adam Robinson is improving as the replacement for Jewel Hampton.
- Hawks Defense: They are pretty solid. They will most likely shut down our running game, as they only gave up 84 yards rushing against UNI. If the Hawkeye secondary can find a way to slow down the Cyclones’ spread offense, they could pose a major problem for the Cyclone offense.
- Talent and Experience of the Hawks: For the most part, the Hawks are more talented, have better recruits, and have more experience on both sides of the ball. The down side for them; some of their talented players, like star RB Jewel Hampton are injured.
- Cyclones Defense: The Cyclones gave up a whole lot of yards on the ground to a much weaker NDSU team. The Clones gave up almost 240 yards on the ground to the Bison; which is nowhere near as strong as the Hawkeyes run game. Expect the hawks to come out running the ball, and if they have success, it could spell trouble for the Cyclones.
And The Winner Is…
While the Cyclones are sure to be underdogs (+7.5), I truly think they can win this game. The Clones play great at home (or the Hawks play terrible at ISU) and their offense is looking stronger than ever. ISU has won the last two meetings at home in Ames and will look to extend that streak.
Cyclone Nation will no question have to bring a lot of energy and support into Jack Trice Stadium, and based on the last few years it should help the Cyclones immensely. I think this will be a shootout as both teams will rely on their offenses to move the ball. Nevertheless, this game will be a classic, as almost every Iowa State/ Iowa game has proved to be.
Ok folks, with that said, bring your Cyclone gear, and come out and support your Iowa State Cyclones as they look to beat down the Hawkeyes! Remember, Saturday is Color It Cardinal Day so come out and show your school pride by wearing Cardinal to the tailgate and game! LETS GO STATE!
Nick: I expect this to be an awesome game. I think both offenses will be successful, Iowa with their run game and Iowa State with their pass game. The home crowd and atmosphere at Iowa State will prove to be the edge here and the Iowa State Cyclones will come out victorious. And no the Hawks won’t get so lucky with blocked field goals or some crap like that against the Cyclones! GO STATE!
- Iowa State 27 Iowa 24
Scott: The home team has won the last five games in the Cy-Hawk series. I predicted an Iowa State victory before the season started and I haven’t seen anything to make me change my mind. Iowa fans will be down in the dumps after this loss and they face a tough Arizona team next week, but the good news is the Big 10 schedule is just around the corner.
- Iowa State 30 Iowa 28