Monday Musings

In his bi-weekly (during the offseason) word to the Cyclone Nation, our publisher provides another sneak peek at the upcoming 2003 football preview in CN Magazine by forecasting the season week-by-week.

August 30—Northern Iowa: This Division I-AA foe is easy fodder under the lights at Jack Trice Stadium. Iowa State uses this as a means to kick-start its running game behind a revamped offensive line. All three of ISU's quarterbacks get into the action, but it's Hiawatha Rutland and Stevie Hicks who steal the show and both rush for over 100 yards. Iowa State 40, Northern Iowa 10.

September 6—Ohio: A replay of the season-opener, with ISU's size up front and depth in the backfield proving to be too much for this undermanned MAC foe. Quarterback Waye Terry earns some headlines by starting the game and throwing his first career touchdown pass. Iowa State 31, Ohio 7.

September 13—Iowa: The defending Big Ten co-champs come to Ames looking to end ISU's run of five straight wins in the Cy-Hawk series. The game is rated a tossup by the experts and lives up to the hype. The Cyclones jump out to quick start behind the emotion of a packed Jack Trice Stadium and lead, 14-3, at halftime. Iowa adjusts at halftime and the Hawkeyes storm back to take a 16-14 lead late in the fourth quarter. A long kickoff return by Lance Young sets up the Cyclones near midfield in the waning moments. A quarterback draw by Terry puts ISU in long field goal range in the final seconds. Kicker Tony Yelk, maligned throughout his career for his inconsistency, booms a 48-yard field goal as time expires to give Iowa State the six pack. Iowa State 17, Iowa 16.

September 27—at Northern Illinois: The undefeated Cyclones crack the top 25 during the bye week. Unfortunately, that gets the attention of the underrated Huskies. The Cyclones lack spark coming off a bye week and Terry struggles in his first road start. Austin Flynn comes of the bench to ignite a little offense, but it's too little too late as Northern Illinois pulls the upset. Afterwards, ISU Coach Dan McCarney tells the media there will be a competition for the starting quarterback job in practice this week. Northern Illinois 24, Iowa State 17.

October 4—Oklahoma: Flynn is named the starter against the second-ranked Sooners, and their stellar defense responds by pounding and confusing the rookie quarterback. Luckily, the ISU defense is up to the challenge and keeps the Cyclones within striking distance early. Then midway through the third quarter, Flynn is sacked by Tommie Harris and fumbles the ball, which is recovered by Teddy Lehman and returned for a touchdown. Flynn is injured on the play and Terry is re-inserted at quarterback. He orchestrates a late scoring drive to avoid the shutout. Oklahoma 24, Iowa State 7.

October 11—at Texas Tech: Terry's second road start is far different than his first. He scorches the Red Raiders' defense and is named player of the game as the ISU offense converts several turnovers forced by the ISU defense into points and cruises to victory. Iowa State 34, Texas Tech 23.

October 18—Texas: Before an ABC television audience, the Cyclones give second-ranked Texas all it can handle on Homecoming. Jordan Carstens knocks Longhorn quarterback Chance Mock out of the game with a wicked hit, and ISU takes a 14-10 lead into the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, special teams prove to be ISU's undoing in the final stanza. A Yelk punt is blocked, which sets up a short touchdown run by Cedric Benson that gives the lead back to Texas. Later, Adam Benike misses a 35-yard field that would've forced overtime. Texas 17, Iowa State 14.

October 25—at Nebraska: Let's face it, Lincoln is not necessarily the friendliest place for the Iowa State football program. That trend continues. For one day the Husker defense looks like the Black Shirts of old and completely shuts down the ISU offense. Nebraska 17, Iowa State 0.

November 8—Kansas State: K-State has outscored the Cyclones, 154-17, the last three years and always seem to bring out the worst in ISU. A bye week doesn't offer much help. Before a sellout home crowd ISU's defense plays poorly and surrenders over 100 yards rushing to a running back for the first time all season. Darren Sproles is the beneficiary and K-State gets the easy victory. Kansas State 35, Iowa State 13.

November 15—Colorado: Stinging from its embarrassing loss to K-State, ISU plays its most impressive game of the season in a rout of the two-time defending Big 12 North Division champion Buffaloes. The Cyclones come out throwing with Terry passing for three touchdowns, two of which come on short slants to Lance Young that the speedster turns into big plays. Lane Danielsen also runs for another score on a reverse. Iowa State 38, Colorado 14.

November 22—at Kansas: At 5-5 the Cyclones need this one to have any hope of earning a fourth straight bowl appearance. The lowly Jayhawks play inspired football in their home finale but fortunately ISU pulls it out on interceptions returned for touchdowns by JaMaine Billups and Anthony Forrest. Iowa State 24, Kansas 20.

November 29—at Missouri: The Tigers are hoping to improve their bowl fate, while the Cyclones are looking to secure theirs. The game is played in wet, sloppy, and cold conditions that help the ISU defense neutralize Brad Smith. Rutland is unstoppable running the ball all afternoon, and Benike atones for his earlier miss against Texas by kicking four short field goals. The Cyclones score their only touchdown of the afternoon on a punt return by Todd Miller. Iowa State is bowl-eligible and finishes 4-4 in the Big 12 and 7-5 overall. Iowa State 19, Missouri 14.

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