Just the Facts
College Football - Wire
Posted on Wed, Sep. 12, 2007 09:21 AM
Iowa (2-0) at Iowa State (0-2) Sports Network
FACTS & STATS: Site: Jack Trice Stadium (55,000) -- Ames, Iowa. Television: Versus. Home Record: Iowa 1-0, Iowa State 0-2. Away Record: Iowa 0-0, Iowa State 0-0. Neutral Record: Iowa 1-0, Iowa State 0-0. Conference Record: Iowa 0-0, Iowa State 0-0. Series Record: Iowa leads, 36-18.
GAME NOTES: Playing their third straight game at home in Jack Trice Stadium to kick off the 2007 campaign, the Iowa State Cyclones once again shoot for their first victory of the season when they challenge the Iowa Hawkeyes this Saturday in Ames. In the opener to the season the Cyclones allowed Kent State to get the best of them back on August 30 in a 23-14 decision. Nine days later ISU faced local rival Northern Iowa and didn't fare any better in a 24-13 setback in the same stadium. Following this game the Cyclones hit the road for three straight, the second of those being the Big 12 Conference opener in Lincoln against nationally-ranked Nebraska. As for the Hawkeyes, they've refused to take pity on either of their first two opponents, topping Northern Illinois in Chicago in the opener (16-3) and then blanking Syracuse in a 35- point triumph in a rare night game at Kinnick Stadium. Although Iowa still has Western Michigan left on the non-conference slate later this season, the team will go after Big Ten glory and nationally-ranked Wisconsin in Madison in another week. In terms of the all-time series, which dates back to 1894, Iowa is in control with 36 wins in 54 meetings. Since the Cy-Hawk Trophy was first awarded to the winner of this intra-state battle, the Hawkeyes have gone 20-10 versus Iowa State, with Iowa taking a 27-17 decision in last year's affair in Iowa City.
Jake Christensen passed for 278 yards and four touchdowns as he easily led the Hawkeyes to the shutout win against Syracuse over the weekend. Tony Moeaki collected eight passes for 112 yards and made it into the end zone three times for the squad, while Albert Young also caught a TD pass in the contest. Although the squad averaged just 2.9 yards per rushing attempt, Damian Sims still had better-than-average production with 62 yards and a score on 12 carries. For the first two games of the season Sims is averaging better than six yards per attempt, with Young picking up another five yards on average for his 34 carries. However, even with those two impressive numbers, each player has just one rushing score, accounting for both the team's touchdowns on the ground. He may be averaging only 205.5 ypg passing, but Christensen is making the most of his opportunities with five touchdowns, against only one pick thus far.
When it came to the Iowa defense, it was difficult to determine if the unit was just that strong or the Syracuse offense simply that weak. The Orange managed a pitiful five first downs and only 103 yards of total offense. Controlling the ball for barely 24 minutes in the game, Syracuse was allowed to convert on just 2-of-15 third-down plays. Bryan Mattison may have had the best game of his career with three of the team's six sacks, but it was Kenny Iwebema who gained more recognition thanks to his two blocked field goals, matching his own school record. Iwebema, who added a sack along the way, was named the Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week for his efforts. In the process of pummeling the Orange, Iowa's run defense moved to second in the nation with a mere 22.5 ypg allowed. Even more impressive is the scoring defense, now first in the country following the shutout and the lone field goal permitted Northern Illinois in the opener. In a clear case where stats can be deceiving, Iowa State outgained Northern Iowa last weekend, 399-327, and still the Cyclones came out on the losing end by double digits. Stranger yet was the fact that ISU ran a total of 84 offensive plays, compared to 70 for the visitors, and maintained possession of the ball for less than 27 minutes in the contest. Quarterback Bret Meyer tried to do it all himself for the squad, hitting 27-of-43 for 255 yards, but he was sacked once and intercepted two times by the Panthers. Meyer did manage to get into the end zone on one of his 11 rushing attempts, finishing with a team- best 50 yards. A part of the problem with the offense begins with field position because the special teams are not helping matters much. After two games the punt return team is ranked second-to-last in the country with minus-1.3 yards per attempt. Without decent field position to begin drives Iowa State has found putting points on the board to be a trying task, posting 13.5 ppg to rank last in the conference and 106th in the nation.
The Cyclones gave themselves a fighting chance with their pass defense, even though the unit allowed UNI to complete 23-of-29 pass attempts. Despite the large number of successful pass plays, the Panthers still only managed 180 yards through the air, giving Iowa State hope right up until the end. James Smith did what he could to support the cause with a team-high 12 tackles, of which nine were solo, had one sack and two stops behind the line of scrimmage in all. Also adding sacks for the unit were Ahtyba Rubin and Kurtis Taylor. Last season Iowa State had the worst pass efficiency defense in the conference, one that ranked 115th among 119 teams and while the unit is not quite that bad on a national scale yet in 2007, they are 11th in the Big 12 in that department with a rating of 135.5. The actual pass defense really isn't that poor, permitting 170.5 ypg to rank fourth in the conference, but there is definitely room for improvement.
Iowa has played some weak competition the first two weeks of the season, while the Cyclones have failed to produce an effective offense. However, when these two teams meet trends can generally be thrown out the window, even if the Hawkeyes are in line for the road victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Iowa 28, Iowa State 10
Game Date and Time
Re: Just the Facts
At least we aren't last in the country in punt returns.
Re: Just the Facts
Looks like their line has us losing by 18. hard to believe in our own stadium against an Iowa team that hads weaknesses and is not proven in a bitter rivalry game. Hard to believe. Some gamblers will be making big bucks.
Re: Just the Facts
That brings up a great question. Who is last in the country in punt returns, and what have they done?
Re: Just the Facts
They fumbled 100% of their punts instead of just 75%
Originally Posted by tim_redd