CN Spotlight

CN staff writer Mark Hersom thinks these players will make an impact when Iowa State and Texas A&M hit the field Saturday afternoon.

ISU defense vs. QB Reggie McNeal (Texas A&M)

The defense did an outstanding job against the running quarterback in Brad Smith. McNeal is a better passer than Smith as the Cyclone defense hasn't fared too well against the short passing style offenses. If they take A&M out of its rhythm and slow them down a little, maybe McNeal will force the issue. He has thrown only five interceptions all year with 12 TD's. McNeal is the leading rusher for the Aggies and as he goes, so goes the Aggies. In the Colorado game he struggled, throwing 10-for-21 as the Buffs clocked A&M in Boulder. Hopefully Skladany has seen that game film and will implement it.



RB-Stevie Hicks (ISU) vs. LB-Justin Warren (A&M)

I would hate to put much pressure on a player coming back from an injury, but Stevie needs to have a huge game coming back to take the heat off Meyer. His running over the Iowa defense earlier this season is the kind of running that the Cyclones will need to keep the defense honest so Meyer can hit the deep ball. Warren is the leading sack getter for the Aggies with three this year and the leading tackler for his team. The team as a whole has gotten 17 sacks on the year.



WR's Todd Blythe & RJ Sumrall (ISU) vs. S-Jaxson Appel (A&M)

The Cyclones must connect on the deep ball as the Aggies are allowing 298 yards per game through the air. That's nearly 50 yards worse than last year's team. RJ showed he is becoming a play maker and Todd needs to come out of his sophomore slump to rise above and be that Big 12 star that he can be. This is a statement game from this program and the Aggies are still an opponent that a win over will turn some heads.


Appel is the leading defensive player from last year and was all-Big 12. The Cyclones need to keep him guessing on who's getting the ball so he will be out of position to make a play. He is a hard hitter and can force fumbles in the secondary, something that ISU does not need. Sumrall will need to make a huge special teams return if ISU will win for the first time ever over the Aggies.

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