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On the Horizon: Iowa State Cyclones’ Upcoming Games

In the world of college football, the Iowa State Cyclones are gearing up for an exciting journey that promises thrills, challenges, and a chance at redemption. 

As we dive into this article, we’ll look into their recent performance, quarterback dilemmas, and the critical games that await them in the coming weeks. Buckle up, sports fans, as we explore the highs and lows of the Cyclones’ quest for success. 

The Cy-Hawk Heartbreak

As the Cyclones hit the field this season, they were hoping to reverse their fortunes, particularly in the highly anticipated Cy-Hawk game against the Hawkeyes. Unfortunately, it didn’t go as planned, with Iowa securing a 20-13 victory last Saturday. The loss stung, but amidst the disappointment, there were glimpses of promise and areas that needed addressing. 

The Quarterback Situation

One of the focal points this season has been the Cyclones’ quarterback situation. Week 1 provided some clarity, with Rocco Becht leading the team to a convincing 30-9 win over Northern Iowa. JJ Kohl, while showing his mobility, didn’t get much time on the field.

Despite trailing 17-0 against Iowa, Becht remained the man in charge, leaving fans wondering when Kohl would get his chance. The anticipated quarterback shuffle never materialized.

The defense, known for its resilience, had an uncharacteristic start, allowing Iowa to rack up 20 points, with only 13 credited to the opposing offense.

Iowa sportsbooks are already buzzing with anticipation as the Cyclones prepare to tackle their upcoming challenges. Stay tuned for an exhilarating season filled with highs, lows, and the unbridled passion that defines college football.

The Road Ahead

As we look to the future, Iowa State faces a challenging road trip to Ohio on September 16. This encounter presents an opportunity to bounce back and prove their mettle.

Returning home on September 23, the Cyclones will host Oklahoma State. After a one-win Big 12 season, this home opener offers a chance to ease concerns and secure a conference victory.

The journey continues with a formidable challenge on September 30 when the Cyclones visit Oklahoma. This matchup will test their resilience as they aim to make their mark in the conference.

October 7 brings the TCU Horned Frogs to Iowa. The home-field advantage could be a game-changer as the Cyclones strive to establish themselves in the Big 12.

The Schedule Ahead: Pros and Cons

Looking at the broader picture, the Cyclones’ schedule presents both advantages and challenges. While they avoid consecutive road games, they also lack consecutive home games after the opening weeks.

The Big 12 competition is fierce, but there’s optimism in hosting Oklahoma State, TCU, and Texas. However, finishing the season against defending Big 12 champs Kansas State and facing BYU won’t be a walk in the park.

A Season of Redemption: Fixing the Formula

After a disappointing 4-8 season, Iowa State is on a mission to redeem themselves. The offense faced struggles, and Coach Matt Campbell made notable changes in the coaching staff. Rather than a complete rebuild, this season calls for a refresh and some much-needed tweaks.

Turnover Margin

In a season where margins matter, Iowa State must address turnovers. A stark difference of -11 in the eight losses compared to +4 in the four wins last year underscores the importance of ball security. Iowa State is 0-10 the last 10 times they lost the turnover battle.

Special Teams Improvement

Special teams play needs a makeover. While coverage teams held their ground and punting was decent, placekicking proved problematic. Missed field goals cost the Cyclones dearly in three of their losses last season.

Red Zone Efficiency

Efficiency in the red zone is paramount. In 2021, the team scored 96% of the time when inside the 20-yard line. Last year, that number dropped to 70%, resulting in crucial losses against Kansas, Texas Tech, and Texas.

Iowa State Cyclones Key Player: Edge Rusher Joey Petersen

Meet Joey Petersen, a junior poised to make a significant impact. Tasked with replacing Will McDonald and bolstering a defense that struggled, Petersen (6-4, 238-pounds) brings a combination of size and talent to the field.

While primarily a special teamer in his first two years, the hybrid edge rusher role is now his to own. His performance could be a game-changer for the Cyclones.

Iowa State Cyclones Key Game: Oklahoma State at Home

Circle September 23 on your calendars as the Cyclones go head-to-head with Oklahoma State. This early conference matchup is pivotal. After a challenging previous season,  in which they had just one win in the Big 12 season and went 1-8 in their last nine games, securing a conference victory at home could set the tone for the campaign.

In a conference filled with formidable opponents, this game presents an opportunity for the Cyclones to prove their mettle. The Cowboys have had the upper hand recently, winning three of the last four meetings, including last year’s meeting with a 20-14 score.

This is a must-win games for Iowa State because they must visit Oklahoma and host TCU next. In the realm of college football, every game counts, and every play can make the difference between victory and defeat. As the Iowa State Cyclones embark on their journey through the 2023 season, fans can only hope for a resurgence, redemption, and thrilling moments on the gridiron.

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