After eight games the Iowa State Cyclones are on the ropes, but help is on the way. Up next on the schedule is quite possibly the Cyclone's easiest road trip of the season. Check in here to see this week's statistical breakdown of the Kansas State Wildcats.
Saturday's game, the Cyclone football team continues its slide down the rankings
of the Big 12. The latest loss puts
them at 0-4 in conference play and 3-5 overall, but the hardest games are behind
and there is only room for improvement, right? Next up for the Clones is a road trip to
visit the Kansas State Wildcats. If
the Cyclones let this game slide, there is a good chance that they will be
staying home for the bowl season, with only three games left after K-State and
one of them hosting #23 Missouri. If the Cyclones lose this game that
would probably put ISU as underdogs in the rest of their games this season. As a little statistically bonus, I
looked into how much Iowa State is paying Dan McCarney per win. Dan gets 1.1 million as a base salary,
which means that thus far ISU is paying $366,667 for each of their
victories. To put it in
perspective, Kirk Ferentz (third highest paid college football coach) is getting
$417,190 per victory (only $50,523more).
Take that info anyway you want, I am just giving you something to chew
Cyclones had one of the worst games of the season last week against Texas Tech,
statistically speaking. The defense
gave up 475 total yards while the offense managed to squeak out a measly 221
yards. That is even worse when you think about the fact that Texas Tech lost two
muffed punts and had 129 yards worth of penalties. There were a lot of mind blowing stats
but here are the ones I thought were the craziest:
Number of sacks ISU's offensive line gave up
* 3-15 Cyclones' third down conversion
* 77.5% Texas Tech's pass completion
* 7.9 Number of yards Texas
Tech averaged per offensive play
I have previously stated, the Cyclone's next game is in Manhattan, Kansas against the Kansas State Wildcats. The Wildcats enter the game with a
record of 4-3, but that is a bit deceiving. Those four wins came against Florida Atlantic (2-5), Marshall (2-5), Oklahoma State (4-3), and
I-AA Illinois State. Not exactly
powerhouse teams. ISU leads the
series with K-State 48-37-4, but the Wildcats have the advantage at home,
leading 22-21-1. Dan McCarney is
only 2-9 against the Wildcats, but they are now under new management. The Wildcats will be lead by first year
head coach Ron Prince, making this the first time McCarney and Prince have
squared off. This game also happens
to be Kansas
State's homecoming, but as
we just found out, that doesn't always mean a victory.
offense isn't exactly a "wildcat"; in fact, I would probably call it an angry
kitten. The unit as a whole is
ranked 89th in the nation, averaging 309 yards per games. The passing game is ranked 76th (186.4
yards/game) and the rushing game is 79th (122.6 yards/game). The quarterback position has been a
see-saw between senior Dylan Meier and freshman Josh Freeman. Both have seen plenty of play time, with
neither really showing a lot but Freeman will get the start on Saturday. He has a 40.6% completion percentage and
only 726 passing yards this season.
The real mind boggler is this: Freeman has zero TDs and eight (yes eight)
interceptions. The rushing game has
the same dilemma as the QB position.
Senior Thomas Clayton and freshman Leon Patton both have about the same
yards (333 for Patton, 322 for Clayton) so look for both to get some playing
time. As for receptions, the
Wildcats like to spread it around.
Four players have over 200 yards this season, led by Jermaine Moreira
with 419 yards (18.2 yard/catch) and two TDs.
K-State defense is definitely an improvement over their offensive counterpart;
coming in as the 49th best D in the nation (315.13). The rush D averages 125.3
yards/game while the pass D averages 189.88 yards/game. This defense just took a big hit though,
with FS Marcus Watts being out for the rest of the season. Watts
leads the team in interceptions (3), had 19 tackles, and was a leader on the
field. The team is led in tackles
by senior LBs Brandon Archer (63) and Zach Diles (56). Also, one of the Cat's biggest stars is
sophomore Ian Campbell DE.
is third on the team in tackles (98) and leads the team in sacks (8.5), which is
good for 7th in the nation. In
fact, sacks are becoming a K-State specialty, with the team having a total of
24, ranking them at 20th in the nation.
Cat's special teams is hit or miss.
Take, for example, the field goal kicking of senior Jeff Snodgrass. He is 10-15, having missed a 22 and a 38
yarder, but also having nailed kicks from 53, 52, and 48 yards. Snodgrass also does kickoffs, averaging
61.3 yards with 10 (out of 24) touchbacks.
Punting is handled by Time Reyer who averages a respectable 40.3
yards/punt. Punt return duties are
taken by senior WR Yamon Figurs, with a 11.1 yard average and one TD. Finally, the Cat's are dangerous on
kickoff returns, with three people splitting time. WR Figurs averages 23.0 yards (8
attempts), RB Patton averaging 34.3 yards (7 attempts) with a TD, and CB Justin McKinney 38.6 yards (5 attempts) and a TD.
it is time for the wrap up.
Offensively, the Wildcats like to spread the ball around but have yet to
find any real success. Defensively,
the Cats are good but have taken a big hit with the loss of Marcus Watts. Also, watch for the Cats to put up big
numbers in the sack column.
Finally, special teams is good, with the skill to make long kicks (and
miss short ones). They are
especially dangerous on kick returns.
Looking at the numbers, the Cyclones can get a much needed road win again
State. Both teams desperately need this win to
get to bowl eligibility. If the
Cyclones can pull out the win, they can use the momentum to get wins against
upcoming foes Kansas and Colorado. If the Cyclones fail....well, it could
be a long, cold winter.