Everyone knew that the
Cyclones Statistical Breakdown
Before I get started I just want to say that these stats can be viewed as "slightly skewed" because there were three overtimes. The numbers would not be as high if the game ended in regulation but the team did what was asked of them to win the game. For the record, that was the first overtime win in cyclone history, as well as the only triple overtime game (count those as more demons that the Danny Mac has exorcised from this program). The passing game put up 234 yards and two TDs (both by Blythe), which is right on track with last year's average (239.7 yards per game). Oh yeah, and did I mention the Meyer had five total TDs with NO TURNOVERS (yeah, I would call that a good day!) Blythe's two TDs are 22.2% of his total TDs from last year (nine).
Between Hicks and Meyer, ISU
rushed for 159 yards, an improvement from last year's 110.7 yards per game.
Hicks alone managed to gain 92 yards on 23 carries, or four YPC. So the offense
is doing well, but the defense….well, it was the first game, right? The D gave
up 367 passing yards, which is a lot more than the 242.3 yards that opponent's
averaged last year, but they did have an interception. The rush D only allowed
45 yards, which is a long way from the 102.7 yard per game average of last
year's D. So, how do the total offense numbers stack up? ISU had 393 yards, or 112.2% of last
year's total offense average per game (350.3).
The next team up on the schedule
is the UNLV Rebels. This is the fourth meeting between the two teams, with ISU
leading the series 3-0. The good news is that Danny Mac was the head coach for
all three victories over the Rebels, but that isn't that great of news
considering that the Rebels instated a new head coach (Mike Sanford) at the
beginning of last year and this is his first time facing ISU with the Rebels.
UNLV is coming off a rough season, going 2-9 (1-7 in the MWC) with their only
wins coming against Idaho and San Diego State (both were at home and by only
three points…ouch). In fact, the Rebels haven't won on the road since playing at
BYU on October 8th, 2004, and that BYU team ended the season only
5-6! UNLV started their season last
Saturday with a home win over 1-AA
Like I said before, the Rebels
have a second year coach in Mike Sanford that installed a new shotgun spread
that didn't do so hot in its first year at UNLV. This year that same system will
be in year two and should be much improved. Last year the passing game had more
interceptions (17) than touchdowns (15) and only completed 55% of its passes.
The team returns six starters and has a few new boosts to its spread
offense. The QB is the key to this
offense, and having a USC transfer helps.
Rocky Hinds had to sit out last year due to the transfer from USC but
will be a big improvement at the QB spot (he threw for 322 yards and one TD
This defense returns five
starters…from a team that allowed 34.6 points per game in 2005, which is good
enough to earn 109th place in the nation for scoring defense. Once
again, recruiting will help mend this broken shell of a D. The D-line only
returns one starter, but he is a good one. Howie Fuimaono (21 tackles, 4.5 TFL)
was a great run stopper last year, but struggled to get to the QB. JUCO transfer
Jeremy Geathers should be able to help in that department, as well as sophomore
Jacob Hales. The linebackers return two of four starters; including Beau Bell
who had 92 tackles last year (50 of those tackles were solo). Matt Pattison is a
returning starter and if Adrian Bradley and Bradley Niles (both JUCO transfers)
can step up and play right away, there will be no drop off from last year. The
DBs will be a step up from last year, with CB John Guice (55 tackles, two sacks)
and safety Jay Staggs (62 tackles) returning. The Rebels also have transfers from UCLA
(Mil'von James), USC (Eric Wright), and
Not too much to talk about here.
The place kicker, Sergio Aguayo (12-16 FGs, 21-22 PATs) is solid and should be
just as good this year. Kip Facer is returning for his senior year after
averaging 41 yards per punt with eight inside the 20. The only question mark is return
yards. Last year the average return
per kick for the Rebels was 20.3, while the punt return average was a measly 6.5
yards. That average wasn't much
better during the
Alright, this was a long article
with a lot of numbers, so let's sum up.
The offense will be solid and should be much improved from last year due
to the transfer of former USC QB Rocky Hinds and more weapons on the outside.
The defense will be good but in order for them to take the next step the
transfers from other schools and JUCOs need to prove they can be contributors to
the returning starters. The special teams will be solid. In fact, the only major question mark on
this team is the kick return team. This team could be one of the most improved
teams in the nation with the increase in talent that second year coach Mike
Sanford has brought in. They may not be as dangerous as