Gridiron Picks

Max Dible

Max Dible

The Cyclones will christen their new stadium Saturday, and the excitement should be palpable. The wave of emotion, strengthened by the influx of screaming ISU fans and the embarrassment of consecutive season-opening losses to FCS teams, should fuel a more talented squad of Cyclones to victory under the lights. 

A revamped ISU defense up the middle should at least slow the UNI rushing attack and the talented corps of Cyclone receivers will make their presence felt early and often. 

Iowa State 27, UNI 17

Luke Manderfeld

Despite two season-opening losses to FCS opponents in the past couple years, Iowa State seems to have fresh faces and a fresh mentality. All of the talk during fall camp and up to the game on Saturday seems to center around a brotherhood with the football team.

They may be hollow words, but there are some truths to the team improving. It adds multiple junior college transfers, including eight on the defense, that have made considerable strides in the preseason.

Northern Iowa is a powerhouse in the FCS, but Iowa State’s culture change and addition of talent will be too much.

Iowa State 31, Northern Iowa 14

Ryan Young

Sorry guys. As cool as it will be to watch the game in the new Jack Trice Stadium under the lights, I don’t think a Cyclone win is in the cards.

True, the Cyclones have a new energy around this team. They seem more mature, and more like a team than they have in recent years. The defense has been rebuilt, and the passing attack is one of the best in the Big 12.

But Northern Iowa is a very good football team. And I believe that the Panthers will find a way to get the job done and hand the Cyclones their third consecutive season-opening loss to an FCS team.

Northern Iowa 24, Iowa State 21