Punt, pass, pick: Akron edition

Iowa State junior David Montgomery celebrates after diving into the end zone for a touchdown during the second half against Oklahoma.

Aaron Marner

Aaron Marner, sports editor


Iowa State 44, Akron 20

After two losses in frustrating fashion, I don’t see Iowa State falling a third time in a row.

Never mind that Akron is 2-0, coming off a huge comeback win over Northwestern in which the Zips were behind by 18 at halftime. Iowa State has a significant talent advantage over Akron and I think the skill positions will show that the most.

Iowa State’s offense, specifically through the air, should have a big game. Akron’s defense gives up over 230 yards of passing per game, and with Hakeem Butler stretching the field, the short routes over the middle could be open all day for Deshaunte Jones, Tarique Milton and others.

Iowa State’s defense should be able to hold off Akron, and I think the Cyclones’ defense can force some turnovers when Akron falls behind early. Akron’s defense has created points so far, scoring three touchdowns — two on interceptions, one on a fumble recovery — but I doubt Akron can make that happen against Iowa State.

Give me Iowa State in a comfortable win against the Zips.

Trevor Holbrook, assistant sports editor


Iowa State 34, Akron 14

The upset burned me last week, so I won’t be baited into that for a second-straight week.

Another difference this week lies in Iowa State’s opponent. Akron won’t have a player who can hold a candle to Kyler Murray, but it does have Kato Nelson.

Nelson has totaled 509 passing yards and five touchdowns to one interception in the Zips’ 2-0 start. He’s also somewhat of a threat on the ground tacking on 79 rushing yards for Akron this year.

I predict Iowa State’s defense will limit Nelson, though. For starters, it won’t be close to a 100 degree heat index this week, and anyway you look at it, Akron isn’t Oklahoma. The Sooners might be the best offense so far this season, so the Cyclones should improve and give up less than 37 points.

On offense, Iowa State hit on all cylinders last week, and I see no reason it won’t this week. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Zeb Noland opened up the offense with his talented arm — a trend that will continue against Akron — and expect junior running back David Montgomery to surpass the 100-yard mark for the first time this year.

I don’t think Iowa State should take Akron lightly, but on paper, Iowa State should be rotating in backups and freshmen in the fourth quarter.

Noah Rohlfing, assistant sports editor


Iowa State 38, Akron 21

Iowa State needs a win. Bad.

After starting 0-2 — albeit to two quality opponents — the Cyclones will be searching for the six wins that will get them to bowl eligibility.

Prior to the season, the Akron game was talked about as a easy victory. Last week, though, the Zips came back from a 21-3 deficit to defeat Northwestern, aided by three defensive touchdowns. Iowa State has to take care of the ball.

Akron keeps it close, but the Zeb Noland and Hakeem Butler combo comes up big and the Cyclones pull away. Plus, David Montgomery still exists, and I hear he’s pretty good, too.

Iowa State improves to 1-2 and takes a first step toward bowl eligibility, with just a dash of intrigue (quarterback controversy, anyone?).

Whitney Mason, Voices Editor

Iowa State 34, Akron 17

It’s week four and going into the season, myself and other Cyclones fans definitely did not see the Cyclones heading into this weekend’s matchup at 0-2.

The canceled game against South Dakota State is over and done.

No need to talk about the lousy performances from both Iowa and Iowa State at Kinnick anymore.

The Sooners came in and hurried out of Jack Trice Stadium.

Once upon a time, the Akron game was discussed as an easy victory following Iowa State’s huge matchup against Oklahoma, but after what happened in Evanston during the Akron — Northwestern matchup last weekend, the Cyclones cannot let their guard down.

I will repeat: The Cyclones cannot let their guard down.

Yes, I anticipate David Montgomery having a big performance, hopefully another Hakeem Butler touchdown in the Cyclones’ end zone will go viral again and most definitely Zeb Noland’s arm will open up offense for another spectacular performance.

Noland, Montgomery and Butler will make things happen, but who else will step up to plate?

Defense, I’m expecting more from you in this game.

Let’s face it, Akron’s offense is not capable of producing big plays.

Take the advantage, defense.

In all, Iowa State will get the first win of the season, and the countdown will begin, five more ’til bowl eligibility.