Scouting the Cyclones

Iowa State will be attempting to become bowl eligible when it takes on Colorado at Folsom Field on Saturday.

INSIDE SLANT

Yes, Iowa State tried a fake extra-point attempt in overtime last week. Yes, the play was unsuccessful. Yes, the 31-30 overtime loss to No. 9 Nebraska was a heartbreaker.

But Iowa State football coach Paul Rhoads said it's time for the Cyclones to move past that if they're to become bowl eligible for the second straight season by beating Colorado this week.

"Our focus is on our preparation and what we have to do to learn the game plan," Rhoads said.

The Cyclones will also have to deal with a new head coach on the opposing sidelines. Colorado fired Dan Hawkins early this week and named Brian Cabral the interim coach.

Iowa State coaches and players said the turmoil in Colorado isn't a concern because they are focusing on installing this week's schemes and getting ready for this week's game.

"Whatever is happening out there with that situation, our kids remain oblivious to and so do we as coaches," Rhoads said.

But the Nebraska game is playing a role in this week's preparation, at least for offensive tackle Kelechi Osemele. He said he's looking forward to practice this week because after playing a "fun" game he wants nothing more than to "go out there and strap it up again."

"You left every ounce of energy you had out there," Osemele said. "(So) there is really no other way to feel but to stay positive and think we will get the next one. You can't really let doubt creep in and (you must) stay confident."

NOTES, QUOTES

--Iowa State is one win shy of being bowl eligible in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2004-05.

--The Cyclones have lost four straight games at Colorado. ISU last won there in 2000.

--ISU running back Alexander Robinson is tied with Ennis Haywood and Dwayne Crutchfield for fourth all-time with 13 career 100-yard games.

SERIES HISTORY: Colorado leads Iowa State 48-15-1 (last meeting, 2009, 17-10 Iowa State).

SCOUTING THE OFFENSE: Iowa State likes to run the ball, but Colorado is at the bottom of the conference in pass defense. The Cyclones won't abandon their run-based philosophy against the Buffaloes, but expect them to take several shots down the field.

SCOUTING THE DEFENSE: Colorado exploded for 453 yards last week in a 52-45 loss to Kansas, but the Buffaloes don't have an abundance of athletes that can make plays in space, which have been the players who have given ISU issues in the past.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "(The Nebraska loss) hurts, but in the same sense you have no choice but to move on so that's what we are doing and we're a full head of steam to Boulder, Colorado." -- Iowa State QB Austen Arnaud.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

THIS WEEK'S GAME: Iowa State at Colorado, Nov. 13 -- ISU (5-5, 3-3 Big 12 Conference) is one win shy of bowl eligibility with two games left and this appears to be the Cyclones' best shot at a sixth win as the finale is against No. 20 Missouri.

KEYS TO THE GAME: ISU can't let all the turmoil in Colorado play a factor in how the Cyclones play. The Cyclones should attack a weak Buffaloes secondary, and if they can connect on a few big plays it could be enough for ISU to distance itself from Colorado.

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

QB Austen Arnaud -- He's played some of his best collegiate football the last few weeks and could be in line for a big passing day.

TE Collin Franklin -- He has a knack for finding holes in a secondary -- a big plus this week -- and is Arnaud's favorite target.

K Grant Mahoney -- He hit a 57-yard field goal last week and gives ISU the chance to attempt long field goals other teams can't try.

ROSTER REPORT:

--C Ben Lamaak (MCL) should start his second straight game and should see more action this week. He sat out 25 percent of the plays because his conditioning was down due to the injury.

--S Zac Sandvig (chest) is expected to play against Colorado.

--WRs Darius Darks and Josh Lenz are listed as co-starters on this week's depth chart.


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