Word, Cyclones face strong Wildcat rush attack

Zac Reicks

Coming off a frustrating 24-21 loss at the hands of Texas A&M, the ISU Cyclones return to the “friendly confines” of Jack Trice Stadium looking to right the ship.

Iowa State will go Wildcat hunting this week as they look to tame a Kansas State team that has had its number the last six years in a row.

More importantly, Kansas State thrashed Iowa State 56-10 last year.

If that is to change, the Cyclone defense will first have to stop the run.

A year ago, Kansas State trampled the ISU defense for 367 yards on 60 carries, making Josh Scobey look like the best running back in Division I football with 4 touchdowns and 97 rushing yards in the first quarter.

“We are just going to try and stop everything they do,” ISU linebacker Matt Word said. “The power run, counter, option, we will try to stop it all.”

Doing such a daunting task is easier said than done as Scobey is averaging a steady 5.5 yards per carry while Kansas State’s quarterback Eli Roberson’s running is reminiscent of Seneca Wallace.

“They will throw a lot of different looks at us, so we will have to be ready,” Word said. “I feel really confident that the coaches will get us ready to go on Saturday.”

Coming off a loss like the one the Cyclones suffered on Saturday, this game looms large as the Cardinal and Gold tries to build momentum heading into the stretch run of the season. Even a loss as tough as the one to the Aggies needs to be forgotten while the team moves on to the game that awaits this week.

“We had some mistakes that cost us that game,” Word said. “We have a lot of season left, and we just have to realize that and move on.”

The biggest concern for the Cyclones this weekend will be stopping a backfield that has five rushers over the century mark on the season.

Not being able to focus on just one guy will be another worry for a team with pay back on its mind after last year’s debacle.

“Their whole backfield can run with the ball, so we need to be ready for that,” Word said.

While they might not have beaten A&M last weekend, Iowa State players still managed to gain a little respect, however, as oddsmakers have them favored by 7.5 points at last glance.

Whether or not Iowa State is that good can only be decided on the field.