Larry Cotlar, KXNO Radio in Des Moines
I see both teams coming out with a lot of emotion. But the game turns on turnovers and special teams plays. In the end, Nate Kaeding with a late field goal to win it for the Hawks 24-21. Thus, Iowa puts an end to Iowa State's five-game series winning streak.
Steve Deace, KXNO Radio in Des Moines & CN publisher:
Before the season started I picked Iowa State to get the six pack, but that's before the Cyclones looked a little shaky in their first two games and were hit with the injury bug. The Hawkeyes have been impressive defensively in their first two games, but that was at home against teams they were favored heavily to be defeat in each case, so we're not sure how good they really are, either. On paper, they two combatants appear to be mirror images of each other, although Iowa probably has a slight edge in terms of overall talent. However, that slight advantage is negated by the home field for ISU and the mental and emotional edge the Cyclones enjoy after five straight wins. I don't really have a strong feel for this game. In 2000, I correctly picked ISU. In 2001 (and this year reminds me a lot of that game) I picked Iowa. Last year I correctly picked ISU. Nonetheless, I've got to pick with me head and not my heart, and as much as I'll be rooting for Mac on Saturday I have a sense of dread about the eventual outcome. I just don't see how ISU can over the injuries to Tyson Smith, Bob Montgomery, and maybe Tony Yelk to go along with the academic loss of Anthony Forrest. For that reason, and because a good coach and a great guy like Kirk Ferentz is probably just overdue to have something positive happen to him in this series, I'll pick Iowa to win a 21-17 thriller.
Ron Maly, retired award-winning sports writer:
I thought I had this one figured out. Before the season began, I fully
expected Iowa State to improve its winning streak against Iowa to six games.
Why? Because Cyclone Coach Dan McCarney obviously knew all there was to know
about how to beat the Hawkeyes. And his team would be playing at Jack Trice
Stadium. But, after seeing what Iowa State and Iowa did in the first two weeks,
I've changed my mind. The Hawkeyes are better
than Iowa State on both offense and defense, and they showed last year – by winning at Penn State, Michigan and Minnesota – that the road doesn't intimidate them. If Fred Russell plays both halves, I'm picking Iowa to win 38-24. If he plays one half (like last year), the Hawkeyes still win 37-34 in overtime. Somehow, though, I think McCarney likes it that I'm picking Iowa. He relishes being the underdog.
Zubin Mehenti, TV-5 WOI in Des Moines:
I think these two teams are very evenly matched and I expect an incredibly close game. I don't think the talent disparity between the teams is as large as everybody is saying it is in favor of Iowa. I know ISU has the home field edge, which I think means a little. I think they have the mental edge, which I think means a lot. Edge on offense: Iowa State. Edge on Defense: Iowa. Special Teams: Iowa by the slimmest of margins. Intangibles: Iowa State by quite a bit. That's why I'm picking Iowa State 14, Iowa 10.
Keith Murphy, TV-13 WHO in Des Moines
Anyone who thinks Iowa State has no chance in this game hasn't been paying attention. The Cyclones have worked themselves into the Hawkeyes' heads a little bit, not as much as Iowa did for 15 years, but enough to help. And don't underestimate the confidence factor after ISU roared from behind last year to leave Iowa fans, players and coaches absolutely stunned. Still, the pick here is Iowa. Too much experience. Too much defense. Too much motivation. It's Iowa's year to end the streak.
B.J. Schaben, KASI Radio in Ames:
Talk about a toss up. One side has experience...actually both sides have experience...one losing, the other winning. I think I'll stay with the team that's been hot in this series. Adam Benike get ready for your number to be called in the closing seconds, Iowa State 24, Iowa 21.