Iowa State vs. Kansas Prediction, Game Preview

Iowa State vs. Kansas prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the game between the Cyclones and Jayhawks.

Iowa State at Kansas Game Preview

When: Saturday, November 12 – 12:00 p.m. ET
Where: Memorial Stadium, Lawrence, KS
Broadcast: FSN

Iowa State and Kansas will share the same goal this weekend in Lawrence—avoiding the Big 12 cellar in 2016. Both schools are 1-8, and 0-6 in league play, so picking up a victory here will have meaning beyond just averting a last place finish. It can serve as a building block and an offseason talking point for second-year Jayhawk coach David Beaty or rookie Cyclone skipper Matt Campbell. Campbell’s kids appear much closer to a breakthrough, losing four times by no more than 10 points, including another solid effort last Thursday against the conference’s hottest team, Oklahoma.

What To Know About Iowa State

Although the record may say otherwise, the Cyclones have been competitive throughout the season. It’s getting over the hump and into the win column that’s been an issue in Ames. Last week, for instance, Iowa State did a nice job of mixing the talents of quarterbacks Jacob Park and Joel Lanning, while holding Oklahoma to its lowest point total since the Week 3 Ohio State loss. But after closing to within a touchdown early in the fourth quarter, the Clones couldn’t score again. The defense is also playing better of late, particularly at generating backfield pressure.

What to Know About Kansas

The grind of the season, as well as a general lack of quality depth, is starting to catch up to the Jayhawks, which have dropped four straight by at least three touchdowns. Beaty doesn’t have anyone capable of halting the skid and putting the team on his back for a week or two, a particular problem behind center. Kansas has thrown 18 interceptions, second-most in the FBS. But while the defense is prone to being trucked at the point of attack, it’s been remarkably effective at racking up plays for minus yards. The Jayhawks lead the Big 12 in tackles for loss, led by the pressure being generated by linemen Dorance Armstrong Jr., Daniel Wise and Cameron Rosser.


Offense: Iowa State. Coordinator Tom Manning has done a nice job of mixing his personnel, but an O-line that’s yielded 30 sacks has been the unit’s Achilles heel.

Defense: Iowa State. The Cyclones can be soft, but the Jayhawks reside on an entirely different level of defensive vulnerability.

Special Teams: Iowa State. In senior Cole Netten, who’s hit 9-of-10 field goals, the Cyclones have one of the Big 12’s more reliable placekickers.

Coaching: Iowa State. Beaty has a sharp offensive mind, but Campbell has already proven himself as a head coach from his days at Toledo.

Intangibles: Iowa State. The Cyclones are bubbling with confidence after nearly knocking off the Sooners in Week 10.

Matchup To Watch

Armstrong vs. Iowa State tackles Nick Fett and Julian Good-Jones

Armstrong has 14 stops for loss and eight sacks to lead a Jayhawk defensive front that can wreak havoc on opposing backfields. It’s going to be up to Fett and Good-Jones, who’ve been shoved around this year, to keep Armstrong on the perimeter so that Park and Lanning can step up in the pocket.

Iowa State at Kansas Betting Odds

Spread: Iowa State -10.5
Over/Under: No line as of post

Iowa State at Kansas Prediction

There are different gradations of bad Big 12 teams, and Kansas is a full rung below Iowa State in the conference pecking order. The Cyclones are actually an improving team, with a promising future ahead in 2017. And they’ll delight at the opportunity to finally face an opponent with glaring weaknesses on both sides of the ball. Iowa State will continue to employ two quarterbacks, while finally springing the backs against a weak Jayhawk run defense.

Iowa State at Kansas Score Prediction: Iowa State 35, Kansas 20

MORE: 1-128 College Football Rankings – Week 11