Good Cop/Bad Cop: Ohio


Jacob Rice

Cyclones celebrate 10-7 win during CyHawk game on Sept. 10 in Iowa City, Iowa.

Good Cop: Anthony Hanson

Cyclone fans will welcome their team home this weekend after ending a six-year drought in the CyHawk series. 

A handful of mistakes made the matchup an ugly one and Iowa State needed a 99-yard drive ending with a go-ahead touchdown to come out on top. But, the Cyclones are in great shape leading up to Saturday’s matchup with Ohio, the last of the non-conference schedule.

The Cyclones showed resilience against Iowa. They overcame adversity for the first time of the season and gained a character-building win along with the CyHawk trophy. 

Rarely does a team suffering two blocked punts and a fumble on the goal line come out on top. Iowa State was able to make timely plays on offense and defense against the Hawkeyes. A lesser team might fold to frustrations, but Iowa State was nearly perfect in the fourth quarter. 

Hunter Dekkers showed he can be confident and comfortable late in a tight game. He commanded the offense beautifully on the team’s 99-yard game-winning drive. Jirehl Brock earned a second consecutive 100-yard rushing performance. He’s showing Iowa State has multiple weapons that can replace the former Cyclones now on NFL rosters.

On Saturday, Iowa State will be the better team on paper. Ohio is 1-1 with a win over FAU and a loss to No. 22 Penn State. 

Expect Iowa State to be comfortable playing back at home. The Cyclones will be enjoying momentum from their 2-0 start and won’t make any special teams blunders or costly turnovers. The Cyclones will continue their hot start and end the weekend 3-0 entering Big 12 play. 

Prediction: Iowa State 28, Ohio 6 

Bad cop: Payne Blazevich

The Cyclones have long pursued a CyHawk win, and now that it has been achieved, team flaws may begin to rear their ugly head. 

One concern that Iowa attempted to take advantage of was limiting the impact of star wide receiver Xavier Hutchinson. Although Hutchinson shook the coverage and scored the eventual game-winning touchdown, he wasn’t able to have as explosive of a performance as his week one showing.  

Without Hutchinson’s impact, the offense was hampered, with no other wide receiver earning more than 25 yards. For an offense that has prioritized the passing game so far this season, limiting Hutchinson could prove to be a major challenge for Iowa State.

Special teams was another area of weakness for the Cyclones, with two blocked punts putting Iowa in favorable positions. Should Ohio earn a similar special teams advantage, Iowa State may struggle to hold control of the game. 

Ohio quarterback Kurtis Rourke will be the highest-rated quarterback Iowa State has faced so far this season. Rourke threw four touchdowns and picked up a score on his legs in Ohio’s 41-38 win over Florida Atlantic. For a defense that struggled to limit throws across the middle at times, a quarterback with a hot hand could cause trouble and push the Cyclones farther than they would like. 

Although Iowa State will most likely come away with a win against Ohio, their performance could seem underwhelming off the heels of a highly anticipated win. 

Prediction: Iowa State 24, Ohio 14