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2018-19 Thunder Preview, Oklahoma Sooners

2018 Oklahoma Football Opponent Preview | Iowa State Cyclones

M. Hofeld

matthofeld

Head Coach: Matt Campbell (11-14)

2017 Record: 8-5 (T4th in Big 12)

Offensive Scheme: Spread

Defensive Scheme: 3-4 Base

Key Offensive Losses: QB Jacob Park (Transfer), WR Allen Lazard, WR Marchie Murdock

Key Defensive Losses: LB Joel Lanning, S Kamari Cotton-Moya,  DE J.D. Waggoner

Uncharted Territory 

ISU

It’s amazing what happens when players buy in to a coach’s philosophy. In a conference that is dominated by offense, Matt Campbell sold his players on the idea of playing a stingy ball-control offense and putting a primary focus on defense.

The results were staggering as Iowa State improved from the nation’s 102nd ranked defense in 2016 (452.9 yards per game) to 43rd in 2017 (366.2 yards per game). More importantly the Cyclones won eight games in a season for just the sixth time in the last 100 years, beating two Top 5 teams in the process.

After sneaking past Memphis (21-20) in the Liberty Bowl, Campbell found himself, and his program, in a place they haven’t been in a long time. ISU suddenly had one of the top coaching prospects in the country and the Cyclones were heading into the off-season with a ton of momentum, having won six of their final nine games.

Offensive Outlook

Montgomery

 2017 Offensive Leaders
Passing Yards Rushing Yards Receiving Yards
 Kyle Kempt 1,787 David Montgomery 1,146 Allen Lazard 941

Kyle Kempt was granted a sixth year of eligibility which gives the Cyclones the advantage of having one of the more knowledgeable quarterbacks in the conference. For perhaps what he lacks in arm strength he more than makes up for it with field leadership and knowledge.

Of course having a guy like David Montgomery in the backfield certainly benefits Kempt. Defenses will play to Montgomery first in an effort to force Kempt to beat them through the air. That’s just fine for Kempt because that was his recipe for success in 2017.

Montgomery’s recipe for success comes in his elusiveness. Of all of his stats in 2017 (1,146 yards, 4.4 yards per carry, 11 rushing touchdowns), the most impressive is one hundred missed tackles.

 2017 Offensive Stastics
 PPG  RYPG  PYPG  TYPG
29.23 113.1 272.92 386

Allen Lazard was an all-star talent but even in his absence ISU still has depth at receiver. Chase Allen was named second-team All-Big 12 last season and has 6’6″ junior Hakeem Butler and 6’4″ senior Matt Eaton sharing the field with him.

The question for Iowa State’s offense is going to be along the offensive line. Guards Julian Good-Jones and Josh Knipfel and tackle Bryce Meeker return from last year but the Cyclones have two open spots and the personnel that fills those spots will be a key factor in ISU’s offensive success.

 

                                  2018 Iowa State Schedule
 Date  Opponent
 September 1  South Dakota State
 September 8  at Iowa
 September 15  Oklahoma
 September 22  Akron
 September 29  at TCU
 October 6  at Oklahoma State
 October 13  West Virginia
 October 27  Texas Tech
 November 3  at Kansas
 November 10  Baylor
 November 17  @ Texas
 November 24  Kansas State

Defensive Outlook

ISU3

 

 2017 Defensive Leaders
Tackles Total Sacks Total INTs Total
Joel Lanning 114 JaQuan Bailey 7 Kamari Cotton-Moya 3

Iowa State has a strong nucleus returning from their 2017 team that frustrated much of the Big 12. Junior linebacker Marcel Spears finished sixth in the Big 12 in tackles last season. Junior nose guard Ray Lima is a beast in the middle of the line, and defensive end JaQuan Bailey was fifth in the Big 12 in sacks last season.

The deepest spot on the Iowa State defense is the line. Kamilo Tongamoa, Jamahl Johnson and Matt Leo join Lima and Bailey to solidify the Cyclones up front.

ISU has huge shoes to fill in the absences of Joel Lanning and Kamari Cotton-Moya but promising youngsters are in abundance. Tymar Sutton, O’Rien Vance and Jake Hummel  will battle it out to replace Lanning at middle linebacker and Lawrence White will have the opportunity to replace Cotton-Moya.

The Cyclones also have the luxury of two senior cornerbacks on the outsides of their defense. Brian Peavy and D’Andre Payne share 54 combined starts with Peavy being Iowa State’s active career leader in tackles, interceptions and starts.

 2017 Defensive Stastics
 PPG  RYPG  PYPG  TYPG
20.92 128 238.15 366.2

Special Teams

 

 

Iowa State must replace both kickers from 2017. Brayden Narveson was one of the top prep kicker prospects in the nation and Corey Dunn was ranked as one of the top junior college punters in the country.

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