at Folsom Field • Nov. 11 • TBA
Head Coach: Bill McCarney (12th season)
2005 Record: 7-5/4-4 Big 12 North
Series Record: 46-13-1
The 2006 Iowa State Cyclones return 10 of 11 starters on the offensive side of the football. That's a good thing, considering the majority of last year's stout defense will be gone.
Keep an eye on the name Tyrone McKenzie when watching Iowa State play this season. McKenzie is a transfer from Michigan State who will replace Tim Dobbins at MLB. He doesn't have Dobbins' strength at this point, but he's faster and more athletic.
On offense, make sure to watch wide receiver R.J. Sumrall. He will see a lot of open field with teammate Todd Blythe playing the opposite end. Sumrall has the build and the speed to be an NFL receiver and he's Iowa State's No. 1 breakaway threat.
The passing combination of Bret Meyer to Todd Blythe is arguably the best in the Big 12, but a consistent running game is a must if the Cyclones want to go to the next level. Expect five seniors to start on the offensive line, led by last year's AP All-Big 12 center, Scott Stephenson.
Special teams have plagued Iowa State the past two seasons, as numerous missed kicks at crunch time have cost them big games. Kicker Bret Culbertson earned himself a scholarship last season and will be on scholarship for the first time in his junior season.
Iowa State has been one game away from a trip to the Big 12 championship game for the past two seasons. Talent-wise, this team has the ability to win the North, but a brutal schedule will test Dan McCarney's squad.
Colorado Connection: True-freshman linebacker Kris Means from Grand Junction, who spurned the Buffs for the ‘Clones, could find himself in the Iowa State two-deep by September.
Returning Leaders: PASS: Meyer 368-227-2,876, 19 TD, 10 INT; RUSH: Stevie Hicks 149-545/3.7; REC: Blythe 51-1,000/19.6, 9 TD; TCKLS: Matt Robertson 103; SACKS: Bret Curvey 6.5.