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not a fantastic history of success at Iowa State until recent
seasons, so it's hard to get too upset about falling just short of
really, really big things year after year. However, even the most
patient of Cyclone fans have to be getting a little grouchy after
the way the last two years ended with chances to play for the Big 12
title going bye-bye in stunning losses in the final regular season
Sure, there have been five seven-plus win seasons in the last six
and five bowl appearances since 2000, but has the program actually
gotten a win of note against anyone other than Iowa?
Beating a dying Colorado late last year was nice, but you have
to go back to 1993's win over Kansas State to find a
truly impressive Big 12 victory. The Cyclones have firmly
established themselves as a solid, above-average program, and now
it's time to come up with a few big wins to finally get to the
championship game and turn the corner in the McCarney era. They'll
get plenty of chances this season playing nine teams that went to
bowls. More on that in a moment.
Head coach: Dan McCarney
12th year: 5-77
Off. 15, Def. 12, ST 1
Lettermen Lost: 21
Best Cyclone Players
1. WR Todd Blythe, Jr.
2. CB DeAndre Jackson, Sr.
3. DT Brent Curvey, Sr.
4. C Scott Stephenson, Sr.
5. QB Bret Meyer, Jr.
6. RB Stevie Hicks, Sr.
7. DE Shawn Moorehead, Sr.
8. FB Ryan Kock, Sr.
9. WR Austin Flynn, Sr.
10. OT Aaron Brant, Sr.
at Kansas State
2005 Record: 7-5
Preview 2005 predicted wins
Iowa W 23-3
at Nebraska L 27-20 2OT
at Missouri L 27-24 OT
at Texas A&M W 42-14
Kansas L 24-21 OT
TCU L 27-24
There's no reason to
not be considered one of the favorites for the North title with ten
starters returning to an offense that became one-dimensional last season
thanks to injuries in the backfield. On the plus side, the lack of a ground
game might have been a good thing for the development of QB Bret Meyer
since he had to carry more of the offensive load and grow into more of a
leader. He has the talent around him to be even better and even more
productive against the better defenses.
The defense loses a ton of top starters off the secondary and the
defensive line, but the run defense should once again be among the
league's best led by Brent Curvey at tackle and DeAndre Jackson at
corner. If you can stop the run, you can be
a player in the Big 12 race. Iowa State can stop the run.
This should be a fun team that makes several big plays on both sides of
the ball and has the makeup to annoy the heck out of top ten-caliber
teams like Iowa, Texas and Oklahoma. But can it avoid the slip like last
year's 23-13 home loss to Baylor? And most importantly, can there be a
win over Missouri in the season finale if it turns out to be the game
for the Big 12 North title?
At the very least, Iowa State has been in the race over the last few
seasons after the 2-10 disaster of 2003. One of these days, all the
breaks will go the right way and McCarney's team will be on the big
stage. This season's crew just might be good enough to make its own
breaks and get the job done, but it'll have to deal with ...
better than it might appear considering all of the bowl teams from last
year on the slate. There are some rough road games at Iowa, Oklahoma and
Texas, but there's a wonderful Northern Iowa oasis between the trip to
Austin and the North showdown against Nebraska. There aren't two road
games in a row after the Texas game in mid-September with five of the
final eight games at home.
Offensive Player: Junior WR Todd Blythe. He's not the most
consistent receiver around, but the 6-5 speedster is one of the Big 12's
most dangerous weapons with 90 catches for 1,833 yards and 18 touchdowns
over his first two seasons. Forget about stopping him in the red zone
unless you have a tall defensive back who can jump out of the stadium.
Defensive Player: Senior CB DeAndre Jackson. He deserves preseason
All-America honors and should be one of the league's best all-around
defenders. He hits like a safety and is a huge playmaker, but his real
asset will be his experience and leadership as the only returning
starter to a shaky secondary.
to a successful season: Senior OT Scott Fisher. Aaron Brant is
getting better on the right side, so it'll be up to the massive Fisher on the
left side to grow into a better pass blocker. The Cyclones gave up 39
sacks last year and struggled a little too much in the running game. The
emergence of Fisher will go a long way to emergence of the attack.
will be a success if ... the Cyclones win the Big 12 North. After the last few seasons
and with ten returning starters on offense, anything less than a 13th
game and then a bowl appearance will be a tremendous disappointment.
November 7th vs. Nebraska. Iowa State might be good, but it'll take
a major upset to beat Texas in Austin and Oklahoma in Norman. A loss to
Nebraska will likely mean an 0-3 Big 12 start with a battle with Texas
Tech ahead. Considering the Cyclone secondary will be a concern early
on, everything else had better be working or Zac Taylor and the Huskers
will put up huge numbers.
- Penalties: Opponents 94 for 787 yards - Iowa State 64 for 567 yards
- Sacks: Opponents 39 for 243 yards - Iowa State 27 for 182 yards
- Average yards per carry: Opponents 3.0 - Iowa State 2.7
Last Time Iowa State…
…played in a bowl game…2005 (Houston Bowl vs. TCU)
…missed a bowl game…2003
…pitched a shutout…2004 (Northern Iowa)
…was shutout…2003 (Kansas State)
…scored 50 points…2002 (Tennessee Tech)
…won a conference title…1912 (share, Missouri Valley)
…had a 3,000-yard passer…2002 (Seneca Wallace)
…had a 1,000-yard rusher…2004 (Stevie Hicks)
…had a 1,000-yard receiver…2005 (Todd Blythe)
…had a first-round draft choice…1973 (RB George Amundson)