Good Cop/Bad Cop: Kansas


Daniel Jacobi II

Defensive lineman MJ Anderson celebrates after making a big play in the backfield against Baylor on Sept. 24.

Good cop: Payne Blazevich

Iowa State dropped its conference opener to Baylor and faces an undefeated Kansas team Saturday. However, the Cyclones are well-equipped to handle Kansas’ high-powered offense. 

While Iowa State struggled against Baylor quarterback Blake Shapen, who was a threat both in the air and on the ground, it may be a little easier to contain Jalon Daniels, the Kansas dual-threat quarterback. 

Although Daniels has received national attention for his playmaking abilities, he is the main threat offensively and will be the main focus for the defense. Iowa State’s stout defensive line will put pressure on the Jayhawk’s front, and constantly keep Daniels under duress. 

The offense will have a field day against Kansas, as they will be the most talented offense the Jayhawks have faced so far. Aside from Tennessee Tech, every Kansas opponent has scored at least 27 points. Expect quarterback Hunter Dekkers to find his primary target Xavier Hutchinson early and often. 

Kansas has also displayed a weakness toward the run game, giving up large gains against inside runs and screen passes. Running back Jirehl Brock will be looking for a bounce-back game after being limited to 73 yards against Baylor. 

Backup running back Cartevious Norton should also be available against the Jayhawks, and he possesses the quickness and speed that has caused Kansas problems.

The Iowa State defense has its deficiencies, but it is capable of slowing down an up-tempo offense where Daniels is the main focus. The Cyclones will force someone other than Daniels to beat them, and another player has yet to step up this season as a secondary playmaker. 

While Daniels is poised to have another stellar performance, Iowa State should be able to slow down the offense, while putting up points of their own. It will be a high-scoring game, but Iowa State has the talent and scheme to spoil Kansas’ undefeated season. 

Prediction: Iowa State 48, Kansas 37

Bad cop: Anthony Hanson

Jalon Daniels will no-doubt be Saturday’s x-factor. 

The Jayhawk quarterback has been nearly perfect while leading his team to its first 4-0 start since 2009. He’s thrown 11 touchdown passes and only one interception in 2022. 

He has the ability to test Iowa State defense with his feet with read options and designed quarterback runs, and Daniels has thrown passing touchdowns to nine different receivers so far. ESPN’s QBR rating has Daniels first in the nation and there’s even some whispers about the junior’s Heisman trophy potential. 

Daniels is clearly a threat to fill the box score with rushing and passing yards and touchdowns. But, in Kansas’ first four games, he hasn’t just been stuffing the stat sheet. 

Kansas battled West Virginia in week two and mounted a comeback from down two touchdowns to win in overtime. Kansas has also been engaged in shootouts with both Duke and Houston. They came out on top in both. 

Iowa State has a better defense than West Virginia, Houston and Duke, but Daniels and Kansas will test Iowa State’s defense in a way it hasn’t been tested in its first four games. 

The Cyclones need to stay disciplined defending both the run and the pass. Dekkers will need to prove himself as the better, more experienced quarterback for Iowa State to win. 

I think Kansas will win a shoutout and hand Iowa State its second consecutive loss. 

Prediction: Kansas 42, Iowa State 38