Big 12 Previews

Kansas State vs. Iowa State: Preview and Prediction

Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming matchup between the Kansas State Wildcats and the Iowa State Cyclones.

GAME INFO

Saturday, October 8, 2022; 6:30 p.m. CT; Jack Trice Stadium; Ames, Iowa

TV: ESPNU (Clay Matvick, Rocky Boiman, Dawn Davenport)

Radio: K-State Sports Network (Wyatt Thompson, Stan Weber, Matt Walters); Cyclone Radio Network (John Walters, Eric Heft, Ryan Harklau)

Records: Kansas State 4-1 (2-0 Big 12); Iowa State 3-2 (0-2 Big 12)

Rankings: Kansas State ranked No. 20 (AP Top 25); Iowa State unranked

Last Week: Kansas State 37, Texas Tech 28; Kansas 14, Iowa State 11

Series History: Iowa State leads 52-49-4

Last Meeting: Iowa State 33, Kansas 20 (2021)

Favorite: Kansas State (-2)

Fun Fact:

 

KEY PLAYERS

KANSAS STATE WILDCATS

QB Adrian Martinez

How can it not be? The guy has the best odds in the Big 12 to win the Heisman Trophy. He’s rushed for well over 300 yards and seven touchdowns the last two games alone against Oklahoma and Texas Tech. The Tulane loss may have been the best thing to happen to Martinez as he has completely changed his style and play over the last two weeks.

LB Austin Moore

Moore has been wreaking havoc across the Big 12 through the first month of the season. He is seventh in the conference with 35 total tackles, while also ranking seventh in tackles for loss, plus he has 1.5 sacks through the first five games. Moore came onto the scene last season when he played in 13 games, but has quickly blossomed into one of the best linebackers in the conference.

 

IOWA STATE CYCLONES

WR Xavier Hutchinson

He’s the most explosive and experienced player on the offensive side of the ball for a Cyclones team desperate for answers given how the unit played last week at Kansas. Plus, running back Jirehl Brock’s status remains uncertain for Saturday, which puts all the more pressure on the passing game. Hutchinson leads the Big 12 Conference with 504 receiving yards and five touchdowns. He will need another big day on Saturday.

LB O’Rien Vance

Vance will need to be all over the field for the Cyclones as the Wildcats have piled up the rushing yards the last two weeks. Vance has 28 tackles on the season and is Top 10 in tackles for loss with 4.5. But the super senior is needed not just in this game, but as an emotional leader going forward as Iowa State finds itself in an unusual spot under Matt Campbell with an 0-2 record to begin Big 12 play.

 

KEY STORYLINES

KANSAS STATE WILDCATS

Pound the rock. Again, again and again. Last week against Texas Tech, Adrian Martinez and Deuce Vaughn combined for over 340 rushing yards. K-State is averaging 267 rushing yards per game, which ranks best in the Big 12 Conference. The key for the Cats has been to use the run to set up the pass, where the Wildcats rank fifth in the Big 12 in passing yards per game. If they can get that run game going early and often, the Cats will roll.

IOWA STATE CYCLONES

Speaking of the run game, Iowa State just needs to show a semblance of one. Iowa State is last in the Big 12 in rushing yards per game and is averaging a mere 3.4 yards per carry. This comes after last week when they averaged less than one yards per carry against Kansas. Hunter Dekkers is still a first-year QB feeling his way around the position and the offense is putting too much pressure on him and the passing game by its inability to run the ball. If Brock can’t go, it’s on Deon Silas and Eli Sanders to step up.

PREDICTION: KANSAS STATE 20, IOWA STATE 13

The Wildcats are playing some of the best football in the Big 12 right now thanks to the aforementioned 1-2 punch of Martinez and Vaughn. Iowa State has the best run defense in the Big 12, but eventually they’ll get worn down in this game due to the Iowa State offense’s inability to stay on the field for any lengthy period of time.

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