Larry Cotlar, KXNO Radio in Des Moines
One might think that the Cyclones might enjoy a little breather after being manhandled by an Oklahoma team that is undoubtedly the best in the country. However, that is not the case as the Cyclones head to Lubbock to meet the nation's highest-scoring team in Texas Tech. The Red Raiders feature the nation's top passers in B.J. Symons, who has throw for an amazing 2467 yards and 25 touchdowns. No surprises here for Iowa State. The Cyclones know that Texas Tech will be throwing the football from the time they enter the stadium. The biggest question is can Iowa State control the football and keep it away from Tech by running the ball effectively, which has been a problem so far this season? While I look for the Cyclones to give a spirited effort, I believe the Tech offense will be too much for the Iowa State defense to handle in a 42-20 loss.
Steve Deace, KXNO Radio in Des Moines & CN publisher:
Where are the Cyclones at mentally after such a long, and largely unsuccessful grind? What does it do to the psyche of a team when on average it has played the 11th-ranked team in the nation nine times in its last 12 games? What happens to a squad when it follows up a run of success by losing nine of its next 12 by an average 25.5 points per game? Mac's toughest challenge, in my opinion, is getting this team to continue to believe after such a brutal stretch. The scary thing is that Iowa State could 28 points and still lose by two-to-four touchdowns. And that's exactly what I think will happen. Look for the Cyclones to play valiantly again, but help nudge B.J. Symons' Heisman candidacy along in a 52-31 loss.
Ron Maly, retired award-winning sports writer:
Just when Iowa State's football players were starting to wonder what they did
to deserve a season like this, along comes a guy named B.J. Symons, who passed
for 505 yards and eight touchdowns last week for
Texas Tech against Texas A&M. Trying to find a defense that can handle Symons' passes is a monster challenge, and one that I don't feel will be successful for Iowa State. These are tough times for the Cyclones, and I look for them to give up a ton of passing yards while losing 49-28.
Zuben Mehenti, Channel 5-WOI in Des Moines
I think The Red Raiders have too much offense for the Cyclones. ISU has a banged -up unit that will struggle to score points on offense and have trouble stopping the Red Raiders from doing so when they have the football. This could be a rough one. Like Northern Illinois, this is a football game they might think they can win. But I think, ultimately, just like what happened at NIU, they will fall short. The only difference is it won't be as close as it was two weeks ago. Look for Texas Tech to win, 38-16.
Keith Murphy, TV-13 WHO in Des Moines
The last thing a football team needs when it hasn't scored an offensive
touchdown in seven quarters is a team that scores seven touchdowns in a quarter.
Texas Tech's B.J. Symons won't throw for 500+yards and 8 touchdowns like he did
this past Saturday, but he'll get the Red Raiders in the end zone enough
to outscore ISU. The Cyclones must have no turnovers, no special teams mistakes and a near-perfect game plan to win at Lubbock; that's a lot to ask of a team with this many freshman on the field. Tech is the pick.
B.J. Schaben, KASI Radio in Ames
Oh boy. This one is tough. I mean IF Iowa State can put together a strong running game this could be the slump-buster. If not, another "L" will be hung in Ames. Austin Flynn can ill afford to get into a shootout with B.J. Symons. If Flynn throws less than 25 passes, bonus Iowa State. It seems like defensive coordinator John Skladany loves facing these new age offenses. Something tells me the ISU defense will allow the team to stay in the game. Look for Iowa State to pull out the upset in overtime.