Here is everything you need to know ahead of the matchup between the Iowa State Cyclones and Ohio Bobcats.
Saturday, September 16th, 11:00 a.m. CT; Peden Stadium; Athens, Ohio
Radio: Cyclones Radio Network (John Walters)
2023 Records: Iowa State (1-1), Ohio (2-1)
Rankings: Iowa State: NR, Ohio: NR
Series History: Iowa State leads 8-0
Last Meeting: Iowa State won 43-10
Spread: Iowa State (-3)
Fun Fact: Since their first meeting back in 1962, Iowa State has won all eight of their previous meetings.
Iowa State Cyclones
QB Rocco Becht
So far through two games, it’s been an up-and-down performance from Rocco Becht. He looked good in the opener against Northern Iowa but struggled last weekend against Iowa. This is his first season as a starter so I will give him a pass, but I want to see him get more comfortable and be more consistent as a passer. This is Iowa State’s last non-conference game before conference play begins and it is important for Rocco to play well in this one.
DB Jeremiah Cooper
If you aren’t familiar with this man by now, then you better get to know his name. Jeremiah had two picks in the opener against Northern Iowa (including a pick-six) and had another interception against Iowa last weekend. He seems to have a knack for finding the football and if there is a tipped ball up in the air don’t be surprised to see Cooper come down with it.
QB Kurtis Rourke
After suffering a torn ACL last season, Kurtis is back this year for the Bobcats. Ohio has played several quarterbacks in their first three games, but Rourke has the most upside out of any quarterback on their roster. If Ohio is going to have a chance here, then Kurtis Rourke needs to have the game of his career against this defense.
LB Byrce Houston
Bryce leads the team in tackles (28) and tackles for loss (4.5) so far through three games. He has a nose for the football which is what you want to see in a good linebacker. Bryce is without a doubt one of their best players on defense.
Iowa State Cyclones
The defense for Iowa State has been fantastic. In fact, the Cyclones may have the best defense in the Big 12 once again this season. However, the question mark about this team is on the offensive side of the football. The offensive line hasn’t done a great job in the running game when it comes to getting a push. For the Cyclones to be successful on offense then they will need to run the football to take some pressure off their young quarterback. And speaking of their young quarterback, can he get a little more help please? There were way too many drops last Saturday against Iowa.
A lot is going to have to go right for Ohio to pull off the upset here. The game is in Athens, which is a good thing, but can they keep up with Iowa State for four full quarters? I am not sure about that. Their offense is going to have to make some big plays for them to have a chance. So far this season, they haven’t so unless that changes then I don’t see them winning.
Prediction: Iowa State 24, Ohio 13
Iowa State’s defense will likely be the star of the show once again on Saturday. Ohio doesn’t have the offensive firepower to do a whole lot against an outstanding defense. On the other side, I think Iowa State will make a big play or two down the stretch to pull away. The Cyclones have some weapons in the passing game and this may be where they finally have a breakout performance.