Desmond King vs. Allen Lazard is without a doubt one of the best WR/CB match ups we'll get to see early on this season. And it also could wind up being one of the best we see all season long.
King is fresh off winning the Jim Thorpe Award and tying a school record for interceptions in a season with 8. He covered the likes of Tyler Boyd, Geronimo Allison, and even Allen Lazard last season as teams consistently picked on him, but found little success.
He was projected by many to be a first round draft pick in this past year's NFL Draft, but elected to return to school, finish his degree, and help lead the Hawkeyes back into the national spotlight.
King is coming off a week in which he was challenged very little against Miami (OH) and that will likely become a trend as we progress through the regular season.
Lazard is one of the more dynamic receivers in the Big 12. He's 6'5", weighs around 225 pounds, and is a very good athlete. He went for over 125 yards in the opener against Northern Iowa and was over 800 total yards receiving in his sophomore season last year.
I think he's been hurt by the fact that Iowa State hasn't had incredibly consistent QB play, to go along with not having many weapons other than himself.
So, Allen Lazard goes for more than 100 yards receiving on Saturday night, fact or fiction?
DEREK: Fiction. I think Allen Lazard is an incredible football player but he only had 71 yards a year ago and that was the beginning of Desmond King's stardom. Iowa used King to follow Lazard around for much of that game too like he will this upcoming Saturday.
And though Iowa State struggled with the ground game against Northern Iowa, I think they will come out and try to run the ball early and often against the Hawkeyes after they surrendered way too many yards rushing against Miami (Ohio).
So, because I think King is more than up to the task, and Iowa State may choose to focus more on the ground game, I think Lazard falls short of 100 receiving yards and will likely hover around the 70-yards mark that he amassed last season against Iowa.
DYLAN: I will say Fiction as well. Lazard can do so many things, but I think that Iowa State's lack of weapons through the air could wind up hurting them. You'll most likely see safety help on Lazard, even though King may not need it all too often, which is likely going to make Joel Lanning look elsewhere.
Getting enough pass protection for Lanning will be a big key as well as the Cyclones are dealing with a young, inexperienced offensive line.
I tend to agree with Derek that the Cyclones may come out and try and run the ball with their talented sophomore running back, Mike Warren. Warren was held in check in Ames against Northern Iowa, but they'll need to get him involved early to get him into the game because if Warren is running well, that will most likely open up the pass. The Hawkeyes also were not stellar against the run last Saturday.
Iowa State may also feel they could exploit Greg Mabin a bit after seeing his performance in week one, which was shaky from the start.
Lazard is going to get his, but I think King and the Hawkeyes hold the talented receiver in check for the most part. I say he catches 6 balls for 80 yards and a touchdown.null