Good Cop/Bad Cop: CyHawk


Tyler Coe

Cyclone offense during 42-10 win over Southeast Missouri State on Sept. 3.

Good Cop: Anthony Hanson

Hunter Dekkers will have his first road test as a Cyclone on Saturday when Iowa State faces its hated in-state rival. 

It will also be the first time since Joel Lanning in 2016 that an Iowan will start at quarterback on the Cyclone side of the rivalry. Dekkers, from Hawarden, Iowa, demonstrated in just one-half of play against Southeast Missouri State that he’ll be ready. 

Dekkers said he expected nerves to impact his first collegiate start, but they never did. The Cyclone junior quarterback was stoic and dominated the SEMO secondary, finding Xavier Hutchinson for three touchdowns in the first half alone. 

Iowa State will need to play a more complete game against a much tougher defense this week, but Iowa State’s offense has big-play potential this season.

I think a few long passes for first downs could take the air out of Kinnick Stadium and give the Cyclones some momentum. Iowa’s offense was far from mid-season form in week one and the Hawkeye attack will lag behind again facing Iowa State. 

Iowa State will take its first win in the CyHawk series since 2012 this year. 

Prediction: Iowa State 24, Iowa 14

Bad Cop: Payne Blazevich

If there is one team that has consistently exploited Iowa State’s weaknesses throughout Campbell’s tenure, it’s Iowa. The Hawkeyes have thrived in this matchup, winning six straight and looking to retain the CyHawk trophy for another year.

One of the most telling stats is the turnover margin over the past five games in the series. Iowa State has yet to force a Hawkeye turnover while giving up nine, four of which occurred in the previous meeting.

Iowa State is not necessarily a turnover-proof team this season with Dekkers throwing an interception at the tail end of the first half against Southeast Missouri State. He also threw an ugly pick against Oklahoma in 2021 with nine total attempts in the game. 

A fresh offense facing off against one of the most stout defenses in the country is a daunting prospect. The Cyclones will have to work for every yard, as running the ball against a tough defensive line and linebacker core will be just as difficult as throwing against an elite secondary. 

While the Iowa offense is lethargic, its defense is spectacular. Ultimately, if the defense can force Iowa State to beat itself with turnovers and special teams issues– which has been a constant over the past few years– then the Hawkeyes can extend the winning streak to seven.

All of the considerable challenges of facing Iowa stacked on top of playing in Kinnick Stadium will be too much for a young Iowa State roster to handle. 

Prediction: Iowa 17, Iowa State 13