Cyclones hoping to send off senior class with first win over Wildcats in decade


Redshirt Junior Defensive Back Braxton Lewis tackles Senior Wide Receiver Jalen Hurd during the first half of the Iowa State vs Baylor football game Nov. 10.

Noah Rohlfing

Winter is coming to Manhattan, Kansas sooner or later.

Kansas State’s powers are waning in the Big 12, as the 27-year-long Bill Snyder era marches towards a inevitable yet uncomfortable end. Sitting at 5-6, there is a non-zero chance that Saturday’s game in Ames could be Snyder’s final regular-season game as head coach of the Wildcats. 

Iowa State would love to end the Wildcats’ year with a loss. 

The game known among fans as “Farmageddon” has been an even series since the 2000s in all but one category: wins. 

Iowa State comes into Saturday’s contest having not beaten Kansas State since 2008, the last year of Ron Prince’s disastrous three-year stint which preceded the second Snyder regime. 

On senior day for the Cyclones, a win over their end-of-season rival is that much more important. A win over Kansas State would mean that, for the first time ever, a group of Iowa State seniors will have wins over every single Big 12 team.

Iowa State is a 13.5-point favorite over the Wildcats, but the Cyclones don’t seem too worried about that. 

Senior defensive tackle Spencer Benton said it will be like preparing for any run-based offense the Cyclones face. 

“Just like every week, gotta get all the fits down,” Benton said. “That’s kind of the thing with any running team is make sure everyone’s making their tackles.” 

The thing is, Kansas State is REALLY run-heavy. At times, the Wildcats can resemble a single-wing offense with their commitment to quarterback and running back carries off-tackle. The Cyclones will have to be stout against an attack led by Alex Barnes, the Big 12’s leader in rushing yards at 1,171, and quarterbacks Skylar Thompson and Alex Delton, who have combined for 585 rush yards.

As a team the Wildcats sit at third in the conference, averaging 176.9 yards per game.

In the last three weeks, Iowa State’s Big 12-leading rush defense has waned, giving up 120-plus yards in each of the last three games. 

Redshirt senior Brian Peavy really wants to beat the Wildcats before he leaves.

“That’s definitely one of the things on my to-do list,” Peavy said.

The Wildcats are second-to-last in the Big 12 in total offense, ahead of only Iowa State in total yardage.

The Cyclones are trying to bounce back from a brutal game against Texas in which they had only 210 yards and turned the ball over twice. Freshman quarterback Brock Purdy had a rough go of it against the Longhorns, completing less than 50 percent of his passes and getting sacked five times. Iowa State will have to make its possessions count, as the Wildcats lead the conference in time of possession per game.

Coach Matt Campbell said Purdy has taken the loss well for a newcomer. 

“I’m really proud of how he’s responded,” Campbell said of Purdy.

Whatever happens this weekend, the Cyclones still have a game against Drake before they find out their bowl destination. 

That doesn’t seem to be on the Cyclones’ minds yet, though. They know they have to give a better performance in order to break a 10-year streak full of frustration.