Breakdown: Colorado

Each week, I give you my breakdown of the upcoming Iowa State game and how the Cyclones match up with their opponent. In addition, I offer my prediction of the outcome. In the interest of improving ISU's luck, I'm going to do this a little differently this week. So, here's a change-up of sorts…

Over/Under: Number of times a Cyclone fan will turn to someone on Saturday and ask, "Why didn't they play like this all year?" 173.

Over/Under: Number of times that someone will shrug their shoulders as if to say, "I don't know, man…this is awesome!" when they are really thinking, "Because they didn't play against Colorado's crappy defense all year…DUH!" 94.

ISU run offense vs. Colorado run defense: On "Senior Day," it's a freshman who will have a big game as Stevie Hicks will have a season-high 85 yards on the ground. Hicks has averaged 4.6 yards per carry on his last 45 attempts. For some reason, though, he's only averaged nine carries per game over the last five games. Last week, he got 15 carries…this week, it will be 20. Advantage: IOWA STATE.

ISU pass offense vs. Colorado pass defense: The Buffaloes are allowing 310 yards of passing offense per game. Word is that Kordell Stewart wants to come back to Boulder to scrimmage just so he can remember what completing passes feels like. Waye Terry should have a much more effective game in his second start of the season. Advantage: IOWA STATE.

Quick quiz: Which ISU men's basketball player is NOT in the school's all-time Top 10 career scoring list? Justus Thigpen, Ron Harris, Zaid Abdul-Aziz or Julius Michalik. (Bonus points if you can rank them in order.) Answer later.

Kellen vs. Kellen: Which is worse…Kellen Winslow popping off with ridiculous, arrogant comments after Brock Berlin gets picked off twice in a loss or Kellen Winslow popping off with ridiculous, arrogant comments after Brock Berlin gets picked off twice in a win? This Winslow guy needs to just shut his mouth and play football. I don't remember his dad being such a loud-mouth, pop-off, look-at-me-look-at-me type of player. Advantage: College football when Winslow finally goes pro.

Colorado run offense vs. ISU run defense: Brian Calhoun has had a decent season, but the Buffaloes aren't running over teams like they have in their best seasons. They only gained 2.7 yards per rush against Missouri last week. Advantage: COLORADO.

Colorado pass offense vs. ISU pass defense: Joel Klatt has had a good season throwing the ball for the Buffs. He's totaled 2,057 passing yards with a 65% completion rate, 16 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. Colorado did not turn the ball over a single time last week. Look for the Buffaloes to commit two or three turnovers on Saturday. Advantage: Colorado on paper…but I'll go with a PUSH.

Special Teams: Oh…let's just not talk about it. Advantage: WHO CARES?

Answer to Quick Quiz: Ron Harris, who is currently 12th on the all-time career scoring list at Iowa State with 1,446 points. Abdul-Zaiz, who averaged 22.3 points per game from 1966-68, is 9th with 1,672 points. Thigpen is 8th with 1,724 points and Michalik is 6th all-time with 1,825 points. If you got the order of those four guys correct, you are officially a Cyclone nut.

Derek McCoy vs. Dan McCarney: In a battle of the "Macs," I am going to vote for the "Daddy Mac"…Coach McCarney. While McCoy is a very good receiver (787 yards and 10 touchdowns), I have a feeling that Coach Mac is going to give one heckuva pre-game speech to his senior class…and follow it up with an equally stirring halftime talk. He may not break down and cry like Dick Vermeil, but Coach McCarney has to feel very strongly about this group that has played in three bowl games in their careers. Advantage: Dan McCarney.

Jared Homan vs. David Harrison: I doubt that Harrison would have the guts to "tip over Homan's cow." I think Homan is going to be a solid enforcer in the paint for ISU this winter. Just think about trying to cut through the lane and the big boy from Remsen giving you a solid knee to the thigh…or forearm to the ribs. Now imagine how he might look as a tight end for ISU. I don't know where this is going, but I'm all for Homan vs. Harrison in some sort of skirmish. (Plus, I wanted to say "skirmish.") Advantage: Jared Homan…big time.

Intangibles: It's "Senior Day" for a great bunch of Cyclones, including Lane Danielsen, Michael Wagner, Jack Whitver, Jamaul Montgomery, Lance Young, Bob Montgomery, Casey Shelton, Jordan Carstens, Chris Whitaker, Joe Woodley and JaMaine Billups. There will be plenty of emotion on the field in Ames.

Plus, the odds are very much WITH Iowa State in a couple of categories. First of all, how many times does a team get shut out three straight times? Not a chance. And the Buffaloes didn't turn the ball over once last week…how often does THAT happen two games in a row? No way. Advantage: IOWA STATE.

Good sign for Cyclones: This is pretty strange, but if you take the letters in the name of Colorado tight end Quinn Sypniewski, you can spell the phrase, "ISU wins quickly." Or something. Advantage: IOWA STATE.

PREDICTION: In a college football season full of upsets, this one may not exactly "shock the world," but this is a game that I believe the Cyclones can win. And they WILL win. The seven-game losing streak comes to an end. There is joy in Mudville again. FINAL: IOWA STATE 23, COLORADO 20.

(Marty Gallagher founded the popular web site You can e-mail him at

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