These Cyclones are for real, and the stats bear that out.
Iowa State does not hurt itself with penalties. The Cyclones have committed the fifth-fewest in the country, only 27 in seven games. TCU is middle-of-the-pack in the Big 12, with 45. Texas Tech has been penalized most among Big 12 teams, 61 times.
In the Big 12, the Frogs and Cyclones are 1-2 in rushing defense, 1-2 in fewest sacks allowed (eight by TCU, 14 by Iowa State), 1-2 in scoring defense, 1-2 in total defense and top three in tackles for loss.
Both teams have one of the league’s best linebackers, Joel Lanning for Iowa State and Travin Howard for TCU.
“When you see all these games and all these upsets and teams taking other teams for granted, you realize they lost focus or something like that,” Hicks said. “And you don’t want to be that squad. We just try to remain focused and take every opponent serious and treat every opponent the same.”
Joel Lanning vs Kyle Hicks is one of the matchups to watch in today’s game.
TCU has a 30-2 record in the three seasons after a non-winning record in Patterson’s 17 years in charge. …Iowa State quarterback Kyle Kempt, a walk-on who has started the last three games in place of Jacob Park, has completed 69.7 percent of his passes this season. … The Horned Frogs lead the nation in third-down conversion percentage (56.2) while ranking 10th in third-down defense.
”This team has never been like `Let’s just get to six wins and the season is over because we’re going bowling’ or whatever. We’ve set our goals way higher than that. We’re trying to play for the Big 12 championship. We’re trying to get ourselves in the playoff, play for the big time bowls, get a championship program going here,” Iowa State linebacker Joel Lanning said.
So many big deals in today’s matchup.
TCU update: The fourth-ranked Horned Frogs are the Big 12's only remaining unbeaten team. ...TCU is coming off a 43-0 home win over Kansas, limiting the Jayhawks to only 21 offensive yards (-25 rushing) and four first downs – two by penalty. ...TCU is seeking its fifth straight win over Iowa State. ...QB Kenny Hill has not thrown an interception in his last 100 pass attempts.
Iowa State update: This is the first matchup of two teams in the AP top 25 at Jack Trice Stadium since 2002. At No. 25, the surging Cyclones are ranked for the first time since 2005. ...A win would give Iowa State a share of first place in the Big 12 with head-to-head tiebreakers over TCU and Oklahoma. ...The Cyclones have won three straight conference games since Kyle Kempt took over as starting QB. ...It's the first time since 2012 Iowa State has won three league games in the same season.
Looks like Fish will be ready for opening night. That’s huge for the Frogs.
Fisher didn't go with the team for a five-game trip to Australia in August after tearing meniscus in his left knee at practice just days before the Frogs left. Fisher stayed home to have surgery.
"It was something that had already been there from a previous injury and we're lucky, really, the timing of it, because we think he will be ready and in pretty good shape to start the year," Dixon said. "You would like some game situations under his belt, but that may come in the regular season to get him ready. So he's in good shape."