This Saturday, the winless Kansas Jayhawks host the #23 ranked Iowa State Cyclones (3-2, 3-1) in a Big 12 showdown scheduled for a 12pm Kickoff.
Iowa State enters the game after a tough loss to a top 10 Oklahoma State side 24-21 in Stillwater. The Cyclones were close the whole game and scored late to make it a 3 point game, but couldn’t recover the onside kick, and took their first conference loss of the season.
RB Breece Hall (20 carries, 185 yards, 1 TD) averaged 9.3 yards per carry and busted a 66 yard td run, but it wasn’t enough to carry Iowa State to a victory. Oklahoma State ran the ball 51 times to the tune of 226 yards and 2 TDs, while adding another 235 yards through the air. Entering the game, Iowa State was only allowing 97 rushing yards per game, but OK State RB Chuba Hubbard went for 139 yards and a score, and it was enough for the Cowboys to survive the upset bid.
Kansas looked helpless in a blowout loss to the Kansas State Wildcats 55-14. The Jayhawks held Kansas State to under 400 total yards, but gave up two punt returns for touchdowns, and an interception return for a TD as well. The Jayhawks offense was also playing without arguably their best offensive talent, Pooka Williams, who opted out for the rest of the season.
QB Jalon Daniels (22-39, 207, 1 INT) continued his mediocre season, and RB Velton Gardner went for 72 yards on 16 carries. The Jayhawks offense couldn’t move the ball against a tough KSU defense, and this game, much like all Jayhawk games, was over at halftime as they trailed 34-7.
By the Numbers
RB Breece Hall currently ranks number 1 in the country in rushing yards per game at 143.2. He also ranks 3rd in rushing touchdowns, and 2nd in total rushing yards. Hall is having an incredible year, and is the key for the Iowa State offense. QB Brock Purdy (97-159, 61%, 1074 yards, 5 TDs, 2 INTs) simply has to not turn the ball over and rely on Hall to keep the Cyclone offense moving.
Iowa State is one of the slower paced offenses in college football, as they average just 66 plays per game. This is due to their success running the football, and minimal trust in Purdy. When Purdy does throw, chances are it’s going to WR Xavier Hutchinson. Hutchinson has 28 catches on the year for 297 yards and 2 TDs, and last week vs. OK State he went for 68 yards and 1 TD on 8 catches.
The concerning aspect of Iowa State’s game is their defense. They rank 71st against the pass, giving up 260 yards through the air. Last week OK State was able to capitalize on the ground as they pounded away 51 times for 4.4 yards per carry and 2 scores. While there is nothing worrying about this Jayhawk offense, this should be an area of concern for the Cyclones as they get deeper into conference play.
Kansas currently ranks 94th in Scoring Offense (15 PPG) and 99th in Scoring Defense (45 PPG). Offensively they average 273 yards per game (93rd in FBS) and only 148 passing yards per game (87th in FBS). All of these stats are worrying, however the one that stands out in particular for this game is their rush defense. Kansas gives up 208 rushing yards per game, which is good enough for 81st in the country. They have allowed at least 129 rushing yards in every game, and gave up 295 against Oklahoma State just 4 weeks ago. Look for Breece Hall to run wild against a horrendous Jayhawk defense.
Currently, DraftKings is listing Iowa State (-28) as the favorite, with the total at 52. Kansas was never close to covering last week against Kansas State, and I think with ISU coming off a loss, they are going to look to blow the Jayhawks out. Breece Hall will run all over this Jayhawk defense, and this game won’t ever be close. I’m taking Iowa State 1H (-14), and Iowa State game spread (-28).
The total here is also tempting because of Kansas’ lack of offensive talent. It’s hard to imagine the Jayhawks scoring more than 14 points, and this game screams 42-10 Cyclones. I’d lean the under here if the total is where you want to go.