Keys to Victory: Kansas State

What will it take for Iowa State to get its first home win over the Wildcats since 1993? Our keys to victory lays out three things that we believe will determine the winner on Saturday. The above photo offers a hint, because we think each team needs big plays at the wide receiver position.



This should be the battle cry for the Cyclones as Missouri's Chase Patton led the Tigers in a come from behind victory a few weeks ago and Kansas States' Allan Evridge is another rising young star quarterback who has proved he can throw the ball. What the Cyclones need is to get more pressure on this kid. The defense has done a tremendous job in containing running quarterbacks but struggled a little in allowing the short underneath passing routes to be open. Thus lies the importance of pressure up the middle. Nick Leaders has filled the role of superman the past couple weeks but Cephus Johnson, Brent Curvey, and Shawn Moorehead need to help him out and get some licks on this young talented quarterback. Evridge threw for 357 yards and three TD's against the Aggies two weeks ago so what Meyer did is good but nothing that hasn't been done before against A&M.



Kansas St. got a punt block for a touchdown against Texas A&M that kept them in that game. DeAndre Jackson is steadily improving in the kickoff returns and watch out for R.J. Sumrall on the punt returns as something tells me that he is going to break one before this year is over in a much needed time. Troy Blankenship is making his mark as a punter in the ISU record books and has been the most consistent special teams player this year. If the weather becomes a factor, special teams play grows in importance as quick scores will be huge in this game if the winds are up and it begins to rain.



Todd Blythe had a huge game against the Aggies and needs to continue that momentum along with the rest of the receiving group. This game will come down to whose receivers make the big play and the tough grab over the middle. We could see over a hundred passes in the game from both teams combined. We all know about the Cyclones so let's turn to the opposition. The leader is Jordy Nelson, who at 6'3" is the Wildcat version of Blythe. He has 31 catches for 501 yards and seven touchdowns. That's more than Blythe in case some of you lost count. He is averaging 16.2yds/catch. JR's Jermaine Moreira and Yamon Figures had good years last season and are averaging 13.4 & 18 yards per catch respectively. They are close to 6'0" tall and are speedy as use the crossing routes very effectively. Also in the mix is senior Davin Dennis who also averages 14 yards per catch. A key player in the Wildcat offense is their fullback Victor Mann as he only has carried the ball six times but has 10 catches for 122yds out of the backfield showing that Evridge can dump the ball off at the last second to his back and Mann gets good positive yards. All is all each team has good receivers who can make plays. The one's who don't do it in clutch time will lose.

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