Farmageddon: Iowa State @ Kansas State preview

Texas v Iowa State

Photo: David Purdy / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

The 107th “Farmageddon” will be played this Saturday at 7 p.m. as the Iowa State Cyclones travel to Manhattan, KS, to face the 19th ranked Kansas State Wildcats (8-3, 6-2 in the Big 12). This is a rivalry the Wildcats have had a firm grip on posting a 23-6 record over the Cyclones since 1994. After falling in their final home game of the season 26-16 to Texas, Iowa State now sits with a 5-3 conference record (6-5 overall) needing a domino of teams to fall to get back into the Big 12 championship discussion. 

The first and most important domino to fall would be taking down the Wildcats on the road. Something no team has done all season.

 “[Kansas State] does have a complete defense and you got a group that can pressure you at times and certainly can drop eight,” coach Matt Campbell said on Tuesday. “They are a veteran defense at least in terms of being in the system for a long time and another great challenge for us offensively.”

Here are the three things to know before Saturday’s season finale.

Run game issues 

Against the Longhorns, the black eye on the Cyclones’ respectable performance were the 21 carries for 9 yards. Credit to Texas’ defensive line, that is the most physical line Iowa State will play all year, but the lack of adjustment is cause of concern. 

“Hindsight you are always going to make a few changes here and there, but I definitely thought it gave us the best chance to move the ball,” Nate Scheelhaase said about the struggling rushing attack.

Kansas State is no slouch when it comes to preventing the run either. The Wildcats currently sit third in the conference, right behind the Cyclones, allowing only 129.5 yards on the ground. Not ideal for a team that ranks in the bottom three in rushing. While Kansas State has a strong defense when it comes to the front five, they have allowed teams to stick with them through the air.

Iowa State has a dynamic duo in Jaylin Noel and Jaylin Higgins showcased what they can do to secondaries if you give them more targets. Higgins sliced through the Texas secondary for 104 yards on seven receptions and Noel pitched in with 45 yards on five receptions. We have seen time and time again that this offense is at its best when it relies heavily on the passing game. Rocco Becht may just be a redshirt freshman, but he is a national freshman of the year candidate who is more than capable of taking hold of the reins and leading this Cyclone offense.

Get to the QB and cause turnovers 

It was impressive seeing the intensity and the physicality that the Cyclones' defense came out within the first half of last weekend's game, now they will have to keep that gear turned. In the Wildcats’ three losses, they have allowed 9 sacks combined. Getting to the quarterback is paramount to the Cyclones’ success. In the first half versus Texas, Iowa State knocked down Quinn Ewers twice and made him uncomfortable holding one of the best offenses to just 49 yards passing in the first half.

Another commonality in Kansas State’s three losses is losing the turnover battle. During the Missouri, Oklahoma State, and the Texas game the Wildcats threw a combined 5 interceptions losing the turnover battle in two of the three matches. Iowa State thrives in causing turnovers ranking second in the Big 12 with 15 interceptions and saw their star defensive back, Jeremiah Cooper, not miss a single beat in his first return on the field in three weeks. Cooper caused one fumble and nearly picked off Ewers twice in his return.

It is cliché, but it is true. The winner of this game will win the turnover battle and get into the backfield the most. It is important to note the Wildcats rank fourth in the conference with 24 total sacks.

Road game success

Shockingly enough, the Iowa State Cyclones hold the second-best record on the road (3-1) in the Big 12 right behind the 4-0 Longhorns. What Iowa State has been able to do on the road in a talented conference has been nothing short of impressive. Since their loss at Oklahoma, the Cyclones have outscored their opponents 105-41 on the road.

Iowa State already spoiled BYU’s perfect home record, now they have the chance to crack Kansas State’s home streak while ending their opportunity at repeating as Big 12 Champions.


Iowa State is a talented offensive team, but the struggles in the run game against Texas reminded me of the week 1-3 Cyclone team. Something in my gut is telling me that this will be eerily like last weekend’s game. Iowa State will not get blown and keep it interesting for the most part. I see Kansas State coming out on top 23-13. 

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