Media Roundtable: Nebraska

ISU fans aren't holding out much hope for the Cyclones this weekend in Lincoln. And neither does out esteemed panel.

Larry Cotlar, KXNO Radio in Des Moines

I'm not sure which was a bigger highlight for the Iowa State football program last year, rallying to beat Iowa or crushing the Huskers in Ames. Both were fun, something the Cyclones haven't experience much of this season. Unfortunately, I don't foresee any reason to think that will change this weekend. No doubt Nebraska wants revenge for last year's debacle, but even more important they have the team to get that redemption. Iowa State's offense will have a lot of trouble penetrating the Blackshirts. Eventually, look for the Cyclones to wear down. The only hope for Iowa State is to get an early break and capitalize. However, that hasn't been strength of Dan McCarney's club this season. This could get ugly, considering ISU's history in Lincoln. I'll say Nebraska 45, Iowa State 14.

Steve Deace, KXNO Radio in Des Moines & CN publisher:

Before the season, when I thought the Cyclones were bowl-bound, I still picked Nebraska to post a shutout win in Lincoln over Iowa State. Now that the Big Red is a little better than we thought they might be, and ISU is not as good as we'd hoped it would be, this game looks even more ominous. If the Cyclones have any shot in this game, than four native Nebraskans need to play their best games of the season. Bob Montgomery needs to anchor the underwhelming offensive line. JaMaine Billups needs to make a big play or two for a change from his strong safety position as the eighth man in the box on defense. Stevie Hicks needs to run like he did in the third quarter against Texas. And Nick Leaders needs to play at the same level as he did against the Huskers last season. Even if that happens, considering the game is in Lincoln where ISU never wins, it still won't be enough. Unless you're the parent of an ISU player, I wouldn't spend the $29.95 to watch Nebraska beat the Cyclones, 28-3.

Ron Maly, retired award-winning sports writer:

This one obviously isn't going to be pretty. After losing last season to Iowa State in Ames, Nebraska's coaches and might be tempted to be waiting at the state line so they can personally escort the Cyclones
to Memorial Stadium in Lincoln. As much as a lot of us would like to think that coach Frank Solich is in over his head and Nebraska's dominance is a thing of the past, the Huskers are too good on defense and
offense to keep Iowa State from making any noise in Lincoln. Oh, yeah, I suppose you want a score, too. The Huskers send their fans home happy, 45-7.

Zuben Mehenti, WOI TV-5 in Des Moines

Well, what a difference a year can make. Last year, Iowa State wins 36-14 yet both teams finish 7-7on the season. Nebraska has clearly made the necessary adjustments, including hiring a new offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator. They have just one loss and have one of the nation's finest defenses. The mystique of Memorial Stadium may not be what is was even just a few years ago, but then again it was more than a few years ago the last time the Cyclones walked out of there with a win. That would be 1977, when the original Star Wars was still original. When Seneca Wallace took the team there two years ago, they were overwhelmed from the start. Its hard to imagine that this year's team, far less talented than either the 2001 or 2002 Cyclones, which Wallace was a member of, will fare any better. In addition, Nebraska is waiting for revenge, while in my mind Iowa State is waiting for this season to be over. I'm still holding out hope that they will pull off a surprise at some point, though I just don't see it being this coming Saturday. Big Red rolls in this one: Nebraska 31, Iowa State 10.

Keith Murphy, WHO TV-13 in Des Moines

The only chance Iowa State has is to make it through the first quarter without having already lost the game. I know that sounds simple, but it hasn't happened over in Lincoln in a lonnnnnnnnnnng time. It's usually 21 or 28 to nothing after one. If ISU can find a way to stay in the game and let confidence build, they will make a lot of fans proud. I don't think Cyclone fans hope for an upset; I think they hope they're not embarrassed in Lincoln. It's an incredible atmosphere and it can rattle the very best of quarterbacks -just ask Seneca Wallace how his first quarter went over there. Nebraska isn't that good and Iowa State isn't that bad; but I can't ignore history: Huskers roll.

B.J. Schaben, KASI Radio in Ames

One of my eyes will be open, the other closed for this game on Saturday. You'd hope Nebraska would forget about that 36-to-14 drubbing they took last year, but they won't. The plus side on this match-up is schedule strength. Iowa State has faced fierce competition, while Nebraska hasn't played many with the staying power of the top 40. If the Cyclones can hold onto the football and figure out how to move it, then everyone one in Pay-Per-View land is in for a true $30 treat! If not, bring back the glass jaw of Michael Spinks. Those Mike Tyson Diet Pepsi commercials were fantastic. Anyway, this week I'm feeling a little like a homer, so I'll say Iowa State 28, Nebraska 27.







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