Kansas State Wrap Up

Iowa State has completely dominated their last three opponents. How have they done it and where do they go from here?

There aren't too many things sweeter for Cyclone fans than running up the score on Bill Snyder and the Kansas State Wildcats.  It doesn't take a photographic memory to recall the days of thinking you might be better off staying home to rake leaves than to go watch Kansas State stomp our beloved Cyclones.  After last years impressive come-back win in Manhattan and Saturday's complete domination of the Wildcats, all is well in Cyclone Nation.

 

The boot stomping of Oklahoma State two weeks ago helped the Cyclones regain their mojo and that swagger has clearly carried over to the Texas A&M and Kansas State games.  The re-emergence of Todd Blythe and the return of Stevie Hicks have made a world of difference to the offense which is now performing like we all thought they would at the beginning of the year.

 

Blythe and Hicks have gotten a lot of the attention the past two weeks but there are other positions on offense that I feel deserve some credit also.  At the beginning of the year the offensive line struggled to not only open up holes for Hicks but also to give Bret Meyer enough time to make his reads and let our wide receivers get open.  Just like last year Barney Cotton has the offensive line improving as the year goes on and they are now a huge reason for our offenses resurgence.

 

Bret Meyer is another guy who received his fair share of criticism from Iowa State fans.  Meyer struggled to throw an accurate deep ball in the first couple games of the season but that all changed in the Nebraska game.  Even though his deep balls weren't caught against Nebraska his throws were accurate and from then on he has been nearly perfect with his deep passes.  Last year Meyer had a pass efficiency rating of 114.  This year he has a 142 rating which places him third in the conference behind Vince Young and Cody Hodges.  Assuming Meyer stays healthy he will own most of the passing records at Iowa State and will be known as one of the best quarterbacks in Iowa State history by the time he graduates.

 

What can you say about the defense?  They have been phenomenal this year and are currently shattering their own rush defense record they set last year.  It all starts up front and the duo of Nick Leaders and Brent Curvey have dominated the line of scrimmage allowing Dobbins and company to completely shut down opponents rushing attacks.

 

John Skladaney has put together some great game plans especially in completely shutting down quarterbacks such as Brad Smith and Reggie McNeal.  Skladaney has had his own set of distracters in the past but he has shown these last couple years that when he has the talent to work with he can put a great defense on the field.

 

So where can the Cyclones go from here?  When you look at the Big Twelve statistics, Colorado and Iowa State are very close in almost every single statistical category.  With the two teams being so evenly matched Saturday's game will most likely come down to who takes care of the ball.  Starting with the Oklahoma State game Iowa State did a much better job of not only connecting on some big plays but just as importantly we have taken care of the ball and won the turnover margin in each of these last three games.

 

The Cyclones are playing as well as they ever have and Saturday's game is an opportunity to further cement into the nation's mind that the Cyclone program is for real and that we deserve to go to a very nice bowl this year.  Winning the Big Twelve North is still going to be very tough to accomplish but the most important thing is that we win these last two games and finish the season strong.

 

One thing is very clear.  With the Hawkeye's meltdown in football and their basketball program being in the shape it is in, this is without a doubt a Cyclone state.  Saturday's game is a great time to capitalize on our momentum so let's do our part as fans and bring some friends with us to the game and pack Jack Trice.  Oh, by the way, the Cyclones continue their great play and beat Colorado 24-21.


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