Editor Picks: South Dakota State

Running back David Montgomery dodges while making his way into the end zone during a game against Oklahoma State University on Nov. 11. at Jack Trice Stadium.

Isd Staff

Aaron Marner, sports editor

Iowa State 42, South Dakota State 17

Iowa State’s offense might take a few possessions to get rolling, but South Dakota State isn’t Alabama. Iowa State should be able to work out the kinks on the fly and score consistently.

South Dakota State’s supposed to be a good FCS team this year, but I doubt they’re able to keep up with Iowa State over four quarters.

David Montgomery was tough to tackle for Big 12 teams last year. With an improved Iowa State offensive line, I can’t see South Dakota State causing troubles for Montgomery. As long as Iowa State’s passing game can spread out the secondary Iowa State should roll.

It could be close for a quarter or a half, but I think once halftime ends, the Cyclone offense will start to fire on all cylinders. By the end, it should be a comfortable win for the Cyclones to start year three of the Matt Campbell era.

Trevor Holbrook, assistant sports editor

Iowa State 34, South Dakota State 20

I think Iowa State will start slow, but eventually wear down the Jackrabbits toward the end of the game. The Cyclones have to replace program pillars Joel Lanning, Jake Campos, Allen Lazard and a handful of other contributors from last season.

On the offensive side of the ball, the offensive line may struggle in the first half, but I think they’ll smooth it out in the second half and allow David Montgomery to ice the game for the Cyclones.

Defensively, Iowa State should out-man South Dakota State on the line, but the Cyclones have some question marks at other positions. The Mike linebacker position has been an open competition for most the off season between Mike Rose, O’Rien Vance and Bobby McMillen III. I expect a combination of the trio to see the field throughout the game, but the inexperience could lead to times of struggle defensively in Iowa State’s opener.

Also, don’t sleep on the special teams in the game, either. The kicker battle is going down to the wire and will be a game-time decision for the Cyclones, and Iowa State will plug-in a new punter in Corey Dunn.

Noah Rohlfing, assistant sports editor

Iowa State 38, South Dakota State 14

This should be pretty simple for Iowa State. Emphasis on should.

Over the years, Iowa State has certainly had its fair share of issues with FCS opponents, with multiple losses to Northern Iowa and a convincing defeat to Missouri Valley juggernaut North Dakota State on the record within the decade. South Dakota State is no slouch, ranked third in the FCS preseason poll.

However, Iowa State’s coming off of one of the best seasons in its history and won’t want to start off with a dud. The Cyclones will have enough depth and strength on the defensive line to push back against a strong Jackrabbits offense, and whoever plays at the Mike linebacker spot will have the safety blanket of Marcel Spears and Willie Harvey Jr. on either side.

As solid as they will be on defense, the Cyclones’ trouble spot may be on the offensive side of the ball. I can see them taking a while to get going, shaking off the rust and adjusting to a new offensive line and life without Allen Lazard. In the second half though, the Cyclones will wear South Dakota State down and then coast to a victory.

There will be no surprise from a Dakota this year.

Annelise Wells, news editor of academics

Iowa State 24, South Dakota State 17

I may not be a sports writer, but I have spent enough weekends of my life watching football with my father, and have played plenty of flag football myself, to be confident in saying that the Cyclones will come out on top this weekend.

With Iowa State opening their season at home, they definitely will not want to disappoint fans, especially after last years amazing season. But it still is the first game, so the Cyclones’ offense will probably take a bit to get moving. But after their first few possessions, I see Iowa State finding their groove as a team to overcome the Jackrabbits.

Also, my mother is a proud alum of South Dakota State. Despite that, I still have to say that the Jackrabbits won’t be heading home with a win this weekend. Sorry Mom.