Week 12 – Iowa State at Kansas

Posted Nov 15, 2012

Week 12 Fearless Prediction – Iowa State at Kansas

Iowa State (5-5) at Kansas (1-9) Nov. 17, 7:00, FOX Sports Network

Here's The Deal: While this might seem like a bad game against teams battling for the bottom of the Big 12, but it's not that awful a matchup. As miserable as Kansas has been at times in a 1-9 season with no wins over FBS teams, it's been competitive and entertaining with a double overtime loss to Texas Tech last week and five losses this season by a touchdown or less. The running game has been terrific, but the defense doesn't have the talent or the playmakers to overcome the nation's second-least efficient passing game.

Iowa State has been hovering around bowl eligibility for the last two weeks since beating Baylor. The team wasn't close to getting by Oklahoma or Texas, and has lost four of the last five games, and now it's time to get the sixth win or else have to worry about needing to get by West Virginia in the regular-season finale to get a 13th game. The offense is the worst in the Big 12 and the defense has been spotty, but the team is good enough to get by a KU team that can't win. However, it's the Jayhawks' final home game of the season and they should play at another level.

Why Iowa State Might Win: Stop the run, stop Kansas. Even with star linebacker Jake Knott out for the year with a shoulder injury, the Iowa State run defense has been solid allowing just 12 touchdowns on the year. There were problems against Texas, allowing 222 yards and two scores, and Oklahoma State and Kansas State ran without a problem, but they also balanced things out a bit with a passing game as well. The Jayhawks haven't just been bad at throwing the ball, they've been historically awful throwing for a grand total of 164 yards over the last three games with 29 yards – but two scores – against Texas Tech. The Cyclones aren't going to be bothered through by the KU passing attack.

Why Kansas Might Win: It's not like the Iowa State running game is working. The Cyclones have come up with two touchdown runs in the last four weeks, and both of those came in the 15-point loss to Oklahoma. The offense hasn't exploded, failing to jump over 350 yards in six of the last seven games with the lone exception coming against a miserable Baylor defense. The Jayhawks might not be able to run wild on the ISU defense, but they should be able to control the clock and keep the game in check. KU has been really, really close to breaking though and coming up with a win, but it hasn't come up with the right break at the right time. If the team was ever going to have any luck, it would come on Senior Day.

What To Watch Out For: Kansas running back James Sims continues to be fantastic. The junior back handled the ball 30 times for 127 yards and two scores against Texas Tech to make it six straight games with 100 yards, hitting the century mark in every Big 12 game so far. Even with all he's doing, the team isn't winning, but he has to keep giving it a shot for a running game that's been doing all the heavy lifting for the offense. Iowa State doesn't have the explosion to get up big, and it should be up to Sims and the ground attack to keep things close.

What Will Happen: KU will break through. The Jayhawks will come up with an inspired effort to keep the Iowa State offense from coming up with a big day on the ground, while Sims and the running game will do just enough to come up with a good sixty minutes and, finally, a strong close.

CFN Prediction: Kansas 24 … Iowa State 23
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Iowa State -6 O/U: 48
Must Watch Rating (5 – Killing Them Softly, 1 – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2): 2