Struggling Cyclones face reeling Jayhawks

Jeff Stell

After two unsuccessful tries at home, the ISU football team hits the road Saturday to travel to Kansas in search of a sixth win that will clinch a second straight winning season.

The Cyclones are mired in a three-game losing streak after a 5-1 start to the season. The Cyclones three cracks at the sixth win have resulted in losses at Texas A&M and then home losses to Kansas State and Colorado.

In those two losses at Jack Trice Stadium, the Cyclones were outscored 82-30.

Maybe a road trip is exactly what the Cyclones need as they are 7-3 in their last 10 games away from Ames.

“We can still have a fine finish to the year, and this game Saturday is going to be very, very important,” ISU head coach Dan McCarney said.

“When Iowa State and Kansas get together, it’s always a great matchup. We’re going to do everything we can to put ourselves in position to win this game and capture a winning season down in Lawrence.”

The Cyclones offense regained its spark in a 40-27 loss to Colorado last week. The Cyclones put up 411 yards in total offense in defeat, the second-most allowed by the Buffaloes this season, and are now averaging 387.4 yards per game.

The problem last Saturday was that the defense was taken apart for the second straight week with missed tackles again being the culprit.

The Buffaloes eclipsed the 500-yard barrier in total offense one week after Kansas State rushed for 343 yards.

“We’re going to bounce back and go play Kansas as the next game,” ISU linebacker Justin Eilers said.

“We just got to get back to our tackling stations and clean that up. We were good earlier in the season on not missing tackles and giving up big plays and we need to get back to that.”

Cyclone quarterback Seneca Wallace is second in the Big 12 in total offense among quarterbacks and ranks third in passing efficiency. Wallace averages 239.11 yards a game in total offense.

The Jayhawks have lost five games in a row and are just 2-7 on the season.

The Jayhawks fired head coach Terry Allen two weeks ago and interim coach Tom Hayes made his debut in a 59-0 loss to Texas last weekend.

In the last three games, the Jayhawks have been outscored 150-13. Despite a three-game losing streak, the Cyclones are confident they can add to the Jayhawks’ misery.

“It’s tough [three-game losing streak] but the team has got to move on,” Eilers said. “We’re not down, we’re not out.”