The 2-9 overall (0-8 in-conference) Iowa State Cyclones head to Amon G. Carter Stadium in Ft. Worth to play the No. 4 ranked TCU Horned Frogs.
The Iowa State Cyclones have shown promising flashes this season, despite their win-loss ratio.
Under junior quarterback Sam Richardson, the Cyclones’ are ranked No. 44 in the nation in passing yards, averaging 257.2 yards per game. Richardson has thrown for 2,517 total yards this season, with 18 touchdowns in the air and eight interceptions. On the ground, he’s rushed for 435 yards and three touchdowns as well. With his limited mobility outside the pocket, it’s going to be easy for the TCU defense to lock him down.
But to the Cyclones’ advantage, the Horned Frogs are ranked No. 92 in the nation in pass defense, allowing an average of 250.6 yards per game and 17 touchdowns.
If Iowa State wants to have a shot against the oddsmakers, they will have to start fast, and here’s why: According to ESPN statistics, when the Cyclones are in the lead, Richardson has amassed 864 total passing yards, seven touchdowns, three interceptions, and just nine sacks. When Iowa State is trailing, Richardson has thrown for 1,650 yards, 11 touchdowns, five interceptions, and 15 sacks.
While the Horned Frogs are on their way to a Playoff berth in just their second season in the Big 12 Conference, expect to see their offense, defense, and special teams sell out for style points. A Top 4 ranking is not guaranteed so TCU must win big to appease the College Playoff Committee.
Iowa State ranks 102nd in the nation in pass defense, allowing an average of 260.6 yards per game, and 15 passing touchdowns. Horned Frogs’ quarterback Trevone Boykin is expected to finish in the Top 5 for the Heisman (at least) which means the Cyclones’ secondary and pass rush are going to have to go on lock down to even have a slight chance of taking that away from him.
While many believe this game to be a complete blowout, ISU only lost at home once to Texas Tech by three points. Last week, the Red Raiders showed up against a solid Baylor team, and only lost 48-46. Expect the Cyclones to enter Saturday’s game with that same bowl game intensity.
*Section Photo credit to Ronald Martinez, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Tim Heitman, USA Today Sports.