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Opposition Report – #24 Iowa State

The Red Raiders are set to invade Ames in search of their first Big 12 win.

Photo CC:  Michael C. Johnson-US PRESSWIRE(Michael C. Johnson-US PRESSWIRE – US PRESSWIRE)

The emotional shifts over the last three games have been pretty amazing (hair-pulling) to experience Raider fans. Sure, Tech has not played the best at times, but there have been flashes of talent. The HBU game needs to stay fresh in the minds of the team. Rockbottom games like HBU should send quite a few messages, that should last season long. Coach Wells surely isn’t going to forget anytime soon. An impressive step in the right direction for this team would be a win in Ames, which hasn’t happened since 2014. A win in Ames is the springboard Wells knows he needs before heading into the meat of Big12 play.

But before any of that can happen, here’s what you can expect to see from the Iowa St on Saturday in Ames – 

Well, it’s not going to be fun for anyone under center as Iowa State leads the conference in sacks with 11. Through three games, both SR/DE Ja’Quan Bailey and SO/DE Will McDonald have 3.5, which ties for both team and conference lead. Alan Bowman could potentially be feeling it from both earholes this Saturday. Bailey at 6’2, 261 is already attracting NFL attention. 

For Iowa State, their offense is headed by JR Brock Purdy, a 13-5 QB with the winningest conference record in school history. His come from behind game over Oklahoma was a posterlike win for the quarterback. Purdy isn’t going to put up 500+ yards on a team, but he can out-game-manage you and take advantage of field position and opportunities he is given.

Coming off his 139 yards vs OU, Breece Hall will be leading the rushing attack for the Cyclones. Hall broke off two big plays to make up most of the 139 yards, but he can take it the length of the field if given too much space. 

If Hall gets his yards, ISU will use play-action and Purdy is a pro with it. It will be in these situations that you will see Purdy target his #1 receiver in SR/WR Xavier Hutchinson. Hutchinson comes in with 11 receptions, leading the team. 

After Hutchinson, get ready to see a bigger dose of Charlie Kolar. The Junior TE at 6’6 257 has first day NFL draft potential. Look for Kolar to be utilized to create the mismatches among the linebackers and secondary. Don’t let the 257 lb number fool you, the TE runs in the 4.6’s. Look for him to double his receptions and yards (4,66) from last week vs Oklahoma, especially if Tech is ill-prepared to cover him. 

If Tech hasn’t learned how important special teams are from the last three games, Iowa State is going to be another tough lesson. Last week ISU’s Kene Nwangwu returned a kickoff 85 yards that set up Purdy for a game-tying touchdown run. Like I mentioned before, Purdy knows how to take advantage of the opportunities he is given. Tech’s Special Teams needs to have a no-mistake-game this week. 

The take – Iowa State under Matt Campbell has been up and coming for a while. His team will be tough. And I’d bet they haven’t forgotten about their loss to the Ragin Cajuns in week one. The question is – Has Tech forgotten about HBU? Let us see Wells take it the next step and get the W in Ames. Don’t let the HBU game be for nothing.

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