Kansas State Football: Three things to watch vs Iowa State Cyclones

Kansas State football is coming into Farmageddon against rivals Iowa State with a 4-3 record after their heartbreaking 20-18 loss to Oklahoma State.

This year’s edition of Farmageddon should be circled for many Kansas State football fans as this will make or break the chances for the Wildcats to win the Big 12, as they have to win out for a chance. The loss to Oklahoma State made it tougher for K-State, but they’re still in the running for sure. While this is a really quiet rivalry in terms of national coverage, Farmageddon is still a rivalry worth talking about.

The Kansas State Wildcats have won 11 of the last 12 games against the Iowa State Cyclones, but this year’s edition of the rivalry might be a lot tougher for the Wildcats. The Cyclones are coming off a close game against the Baylor Bears in which they won 38-31 leaving Iowa State with a record of 5-2 on the year.

With both teams having a bye week last week, each team should be well-rested and prepared for a long game and hope for the Kansas State Wildcats to start their run for the Big 12 Championship. This will be a huge game for the Wildcats as Iowa State is the leader in the Big 12 and winning here along with an Oklahoma State loss would further increase the chances for the Wildcats.

With all of that, here are the three things to expect in a very important version of Farmageddon.

1. Expect some new faces in the offense.

With Kansas State’s offense struggling to do anything in the last couple of weeks, the Wildcats offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham has stated that Jax Dineen is now going to be a bigger part of the offense. Messingham also explained that Konner Fox might get some time at tight end if Briley Moore cannot play.

These are game plan changes, but some other changes in the offense come from players like Keenan Garber, D.J. Render, and even Keyon Mozee. The first two have a good chance to get a lot of snaps in this game, especially Garber, while the other two will be role players as the Wildcats have not gotten Deuce Vaughn going in the past couple of weeks.

One player that could help the offense immensely would be Jacardia Wright and it is the time to see what he can do as the lead back or even split snaps with Vaughn. Another factor in this is the fact that Wright had a good game last year against the Cyclones with six rushes for 60 yards.

2. The defense will be elite in this game.

The one thing that has been consistently great for the Kansas State Wildcats has been the defense (at least outside of the Arkansas State game) and I fully expect that trend to continue against Iowa State. With the defensive line playing like it is, expect a lot of pressure on Brock Purdy and with that pressure hopefully, it should lead to turnovers.

Another great aspect, and also surprising, is the secondary for the Wildcats, as they have not had a lot of depth there all year, but have been really good. The top two corners are of course AJ Parker and breakout freshman Ekow Boye-Doe. These two along with Jahron McPherson should have plenty of opportunities against the Cyclones.

3. Off-field problems may leave Wildcats shorthanded.

The biggest problem in recent weeks for the Wildcats has been all the transfers and the list of players who have to sit out due to COVID protocols. To keep this short, the Kansas State Wildcats are going to extreme lengths with their depth as many freshmen and sophomores will play in this game.

Another problem has been rumors of more players transferring which could lead to the morale being lowered as players prep for the game. The biggest rumor so far has been Malik Knowles thinking about transferring, but he shut that down real quick on Twitter.

With all of this, the Wildcats will have a lot on their plates, as they will have to keep players off the COVID list to make a run for the Big 12 Championship. That is really the only thing they can control at the moment, as they cannot really prevent transfers.

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Kansas State will play in a close game and need to win against Iowa State for a better chance in the Big 12 race.