Inside the Numbers: Kansas

With only three games in the win column and three left on the season, it is do or die time for the Cyclones. The Clones have to get a win against the Kansas Jayhawks to stay in the hunt for a bowl game. Check in here to see what the numbers say about the Jayhawks.

The land slide that is Iowa State Football continues and the Cyclones find themselves in dead last in the Big 12…not just North…the whole thing!  Even Baylor has three conference wins while ISU is still stuck with the goose egg.  This Saturday is put-up-or-shut-up time for McCarney and his squad.  If the Cyclones lose ANY of their final three games, it will be impossible to qualify for a bowl game.


Cyclones Statistical Breakdown


The Cyclones are continuing to have a slide in statistics to accompany the slide in the loss column.  This week the Cyclones actually out gained their opponents offensively (ISU-384, KSU- 317) but made some costly mistakes and gave up three key turnovers to let the Wildcats cruise to victory.  Alvin Bowen is still leading the nation in tackles per game with 12.89 and Tyrone McKenzie has moved to fifth with 11.33.  There really isn't too much to say about the game this week but here are some of the interesting stats:

*   6        Number of sacks ISU's offensive line gave up

*   109th  Cyclones' national rank in sacks allowed

*   5.85    Yards per carry averaged by K-State's two running backs

*   95th    Iowa State's Defensive Nation Rank

*   73rd     Iowa State's Offensive Nation Rank


Finally, it should be noted that when ISU was leading the Wildcats 10-0 in the first quarter, it was the first time this year that the Cyclones were leading in a conference game.  In those conference games, ISU has lost by an average of 18.17 points.  In fact, the average point spread of all Cyclone games this season results in Iowa State losing by 11.11 points.


Up Next


This week's challenge comes from the Kansas Jayhawks (4-5) when they visit Jack Trice at 1 pm this Saturday.  This should be a revenge game considering that the Jayhawks' win last year kept the Cyclones out of the Big 12 championship game.  The Jayhawks lead the overall series 45-34-6 over the Cyclones.  Dan McCarney is 5-6 against Kansas, while Kansas head coach Mark Mangino is 2-2 versus the Clones.  The Jayhawks come in to Ames flying high after earning their first conference victory over Colorado last Saturday.  This game is just as important to Kansas' bowl picture, with them needing two more victories to reach six wins and their only games left after ISU are against rival Kansas State and at #25 Missouri.




The offense is surprisingly potent and is the motor that runs this team, which is the exact opposite of last years defensively dominate Jayhawks team.  The offense is ranked 34th in the nation with an average of 378.78 yards per game, with 207.6 coming through the air (51st in the nation) and 171.22 coming from the rush (29th in the nation).  The QB position has been a three way battle between red-shirt freshman Adam Barmann, true freshman Todd Reesing, and senior Kerry Meier.  Each has their own style, with Meier being the senior leader, Reesing being the mobile threat, and Barmann being a pocket passer.  Meier has been hurting lately, so look for either Cornish or Reesing to get the starting nod.  Reesing was the hero of last week's Colorado game, going 7-11 with 2 TDs and rushing seven times for 90 yards and a score.  Barmann, on the other hand, is having a rough season thus far, having a negative rushing total (-37) only three touchdowns to six interceptions, but he does have more passing yards than any of the other QBs, with 911.  The rushing game is stout behind a Jayhawk offensive line that returns nine or 10 scholarship players from last year's team.  The leading rusher is senior Jon Cornish, who has already passed the 1000 yard mark with 1041 yards (5.4 yards/carry) and five touchdowns.  Cornish is a little nicked up and might be used in spot time, but it doesn't appear to be anything serious so look for him to be a big part of this offense on Saturday.  As for catching the ball, Kansas has seven players with over 100 receiving yards.  Top receiving threats are senior Brian Murph (397 yards, two TD) and sophomore Dexton Fields (325 yards, five TD).  Look for the Jayhawks to move the ball effectively by using their run game to setup the pass.




The Kansas defense is not the powerhouse that it was last year.  The defense allows an average of 26 PPG, giving up 392.11 YPG (98th in the nation).  The defense ranks 34th, giving up only 113.2 YPG, but gets absolutely no help from the secondary.  The pass defense gives up a dismal 278.89 yards, which ranks at 116th in the nation!  Because of all the passing yards, the team is lead in tackles by senior FS Jerome Kemp (66 tackles), sophomore LB Mike Riveria (65), and sophomore LB Joe Mortensen (60).  The leader in interceptions is sophomore CB Aqib Talib (4 picks) and leading the team in sacks is senior DE Paul Como (4), but three other players have three sacks on the season.  Actually, the sack department has been helping put the pressure on the quarterback, with the team averaging 2.22 sacks per game.


Special Teams


This special teams is a decent unit, which has had some success.  The field goals and kick-offs are handled by junior Scott Webb, who is 8-13 for field goals (with a long of 43) and averages 63.5 yards per kick-off with 49% of his kicks being touchbacks.  The punting is handled by junior Kyle Tucker, who averages 40.2 yards but has had one block.  Marcus Herford handles the majority of the kick-return duty (65.7%) and averages 26 yards a return.  The punt return is where this special teams has shined, with Brian Murph taking over duties and averaging 19.5 yards a punt with one score.


Final Verdict


This game is no gimmie, but is definitely winnable.  Offensively, look for the Jayhawks to move the ball effectively by using their run game to setup the pass.  Defensively, want for the Jayhawks to surpass their sack average and stuff the run but give up big numbers to Bret Meyer and the Cyclone receiving corps.  The special teams will not do much to shine, except in the spot duty of Brian Murph at punt returner.  This game is a must win for the Cyclones and should come out pumped up.  If the Cyclones can pull together as a team and focus for the entire game, they should come out on top.  After the dust settles, lets hope this Cyclone team hasn't had it hope smothered and its role in the Big 12 reduced to spoiler.

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