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Cyclones look to clinch bowl appearance in homecoming game versus Kansas

Iowa+State+players+sing+and+dance+to+the+song+%E2%80%9CSweet+Caroline%E2%80%9D+after+defeating+Texas+Christian+27-14+in+the+Jack+Trice+Legacy+football+game+on+Saturday%2C+Oct.+7%2C+2023%2C+at+Jack+Trice+Stadium+in+Ames%2C+Iowa.
Daniel Jacobi II
Iowa State players sing and dance to the song “Sweet Caroline” after defeating Texas Christian 27-14 in the Jack Trice Legacy football game on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.

Iowa State returns home for the first time since Oct. 7, as they host the No. 22 Kansas Jayhawks in their homecoming game on a Saturday night matchup that is sure to set off fireworks.

The Cyclones are currently riding a three-game win streak, with their most recent win coming against Baylor in Waco, Texas. Although the win wasn’t impressive, it was enough in the end to get the job done.

Coming into this matchup, Iowa State sits with a 5-3 overall record, as they are one win away from clinching a bowl appearance following the end of the Big 12 season.

But this is something that the Cyclones are putting as second priority, as Iowa State still has a chance to make an appearance in the Big 12 Championship game at the end of the season, as they are currently tied for first place in the Big 12 with a 4-1 conference record.

Each and every game will be crucial to Iowa State’s chances to make that game more and more achievable, as it starts on Saturday night against a Kansas team that is potentially looking to keep their championship game hopes alive as well.

For the Jayhawks, they are coming off of a huge upset win at home versus the formerly No. 6 Oklahoma Sooners in a thriller that went all the way down to the last play.

Jason Bean for Kansas has had his moments when it came to filling the role at quarterback following the injury to Jalon Daniels earlier in the season.

Bean has had trouble with the turnover portion of his game, as he has made it two straight games with at least two interceptions in a game.

Daniels does have a chance to play in Saturday’s game versus Iowa State, but even if he does not, the one thing that both quarterbacks can do well is open up the offense with their legs.

Head coach Matt Campbell gave his thoughts on what it is like to try and prepare with his scout team for these dual-threat quarterbacks.

“It’s tough,” Campbell said. “That’s the one thing they’ve [Kansas] got, which is two elite quarterbacks that can challenge you in the run game.”

Defensive coordinator Jon Heacock knows how to prepare for these quarterbacks with his defense, as Iowa State has played many dual-threat quarterbacks as of late and does not plan to change the gameplan for either Bean or Daniels.

“It’s a lot of work,” Heacock said. “It’s a very tall task, but you still try to do it the same kind of way as you have before.”

Wide receiver Jaylin Noel knows what it’s like to face off against a team like Kansas, and is excited to face off against the Jayhawks under the lights.

“The atmosphere is gonna be great,” Noel said. “It’s gonna be an intense game, with two teams that are hungry to win and it will be very exciting.”

The 61,500-seated Jack Trice Stadium has already sold out of tickets, so expect to see the Jack pumped up and ready for some Saturday night action.

The Cyclones will take on the Jayhawks at 6 p.m. Saturday at Jack Trice Stadium. The game will also be broadcast on ESPN.

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