Preview 2018: Iowa State Cyclones. Can The Standard Be Raised?

Preview 2018: Iowa State Cyclones. Can The Standard Be Raised?

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Preview 2018: Iowa State Cyclones. Can The Standard Be Raised?

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What You Need To Know About The Iowa State Defense

– The defense had a problem holding on late in the overtime loss to Iowa, and it struggled in the 49-42 loss to Oklahoma State, but other than that, it held everyone else in check, including Baker Mayfield and Oklahoma. The Cyclones allowed 20 points or fewer in 11 of the last 13 games after giving up over 20 points ten times in 2016.

Five starters are gone including star playmaking linebacker Joel Lanning and the three great-tackling safeties Evrett Edwards, Kamari Cotton-Moya and Reggie Wilkerson. Fortunately, the corner situation is terrific with Brian Peavy one of the best in the conference, and D’Andre Payne a strong tackler and good veteran.

– Again, Lanning might be gone, but the linebackers are sound with the return of Marcel Spears and Willie Harvey back on the outside. These two are terrific in the backfield, and were among the team’s top five tacklers. The battle to replace Lanning in the middle will go on through summer camp. He was special, but there are a whole lot of decent athletes ready to rotate in.

– There’s good bulk on the interior with one of the team’s best tackle situations in a while. Vernell Trent is gone, but the 306-pound Ray Lima is a big presence on the nose and JaQuan Bailey is a good-sized end who can get behind the line. There will be a good rotation at the other tackle spot, and Carson Lensing and Spencer Benton are experienced enough to be fine on the other side of Bailey.

Biggest Key To The Iowa State Defense

The secondary and the pass defense have to be a rock. The Cyclones aren’t built to get into shootouts – that’s a problem in the Big 12. It showed last year, with Iowa, West Virginia and Oklahoma State all throwing for over 300 yards – Oklahoma was the only team that went for over three bills and didn’t beat the Cyclones.

Kansas State only went for 155 yards, but it hit 73% of its passes, and the Texas quarterbacks connected hit the 73% mark, too – both were Iowa State losses. Seven of the nine Big 12 teams connected for over 70% of their throws.

NEXT: Top Players, Final Prediction & What Will Happen

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