Run. The. Damn. Ball. Last week Baylor often veered away from the running game, insisting on testing that rush-three, drop-eight defense of the Cyclones. But they eventually got their ground game going and it was effective, leading to a trio of touchdowns. The Frogs have to establish Darius Anderson (8.2 ypc) and Sewo Olonilua (5.2) to try their best to match last week’s 61 carries for 319 yards. Let the run set up the pass.
Work the corners. Head coach Garry Patterson is sticking with freshman Max Duggan as the starting QB, though Alex Delton threw for 186 yards vs. Kansas in spot duty. For a unit that is stacked in experience, the weakest part of the Iowa State defense is their cornerbacks, who are both new this season in sophomores Anthony Johnson and Datrone Young.
The offensive line has to set the tone in Ames.
“Ames, Iowa; it’s a tough place to play. They’re a good team and it’s our second Big 12 game; I’m excited for it. The take away from that game is to make the plays you’re supposed to make and play solid football. When we went there we made a lot of mistakes as a whole football team; plays that we should’ve made. We’ve got to stick to what the game plan is.”
Congrats Jeff and Lucas!
Niang is regarded as one of the top offensive tackles in the country. He hasn’t allowed a sack over the last two seasons, and is a significant part of the Frogs’ offensive line that has paved the way for the eighth-best rushing attack in the country (275.3 yards rushing per game).
Gladney, meanwhile, is arguably the top cornerback in the Big 12. He is leading TCU with five pass breakups and is also the active leader in career starts (36) and consecutive starts (26).
The Frogs rank second among Big 12 teams in pass defense, allowing just 166.8 yards per game through the air.
Max’s homecoming could be a magical moment.
TCU (3-1, 1-0 Big 12) at Iowa State (2-2, 0-1). A trendy preseason pick to make the Big 12 championship game, the Cyclones lost their league opener. They had a huge fourth-quarter comeback last week at Baylor, only to lose on a field goal in the closing seconds. But Iowa State will try to win its fifth consecutive conference home game, which would be a first in school history. TCU true freshman starting quarterback Max Duggan is from Council Bluffs, Iowa, and was the 2018 Iowa Gatorade player of the year. The Horned Frogs have averaged 503 total yards and 45 points a game in Duggan’s two starts, after he played most of their 34-13 win at Big Ten team Purdue. The last two meetings between the Cyclones and Frogs have been decided by a combined 10 points _ Iowa State won 14-7 at home two years ago; TCU had a 17-14 home win last year.
Slow down Purdy and you slow down the Cyclones.
The Cyclones lost running back David Montgomery, a First Team All-Big 12 selection in 2017, to the NFL Draft this offseason. But while they’re still searching for someone to replace him in the backfield the offense hasn’t suffered too badly. Instead, it’s been quarterback Brock Purdy picking up the slack.
Purdy, a sophomore, has set school records for single-game total offense, passing efficiency and completion percentage. Against ULM, he became the first quarterback in Big 12 history to pass for more than 400 yards and three touchdowns and run for three more scores in a single game.
While Purdy doesn’t have Allen Lazard to throw to anymore -- Lazard is now with the Green Bay Packers -- he’s found new targets in his tight end. Sophomore Charlie Kolar ranks second nationally among tight ends with 4.8 catches per game, and 15 of his 19 catches have gone for first downs or touchdowns.
The ISU offense, more than anything else, is steady. The Cyclones have only two three-and-outs all season long.