The Cy-Hawk rivalry will reach outside of Iowa this week. ESPN’s “GameDay” show is coming to Ames for the first time and the game itself is on national TV. Now the game has to live up to the hype.
Iowa comes into the game at 2-0 and ranked 19th in the Associated Press poll. The Hawkeyes have beaten the Cyclones four straight times, including a 13-3 win in Iowa City last year. It was a 3-3 game at the half and Iowa scored the only touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter. They expect another slugfest this year.
“Going on the road, it’s always tough to play on the road, especially against Iowa State,” said senior quarterback Nate Stanley. “Their stadium is extremely loud. It does help to know what to expect. It means the world, not only to myself but a lot of guys on this team.”
“I think everyone’s really excited for that game,” said junior linebacker Nick Niemann. “It’s just another opportunity for our team to move forward and try to compete in a really tough environment. It’s going to help us grow so we’re all looking forward to it.”
Iowa State is 1-0 after beating UNI in their opener in triple overtime. Last year, the Cyclones were held to just 188 total yards. That included just 19 yards on the ground on 25 carries.
That was before Brock Purdy took over at quarterback, but ISU knows they’ll need a better performance on offense.
“They’re a great defense,” said Purdy. “They’re detailed in everything they do so we just got to be detailed in what we do and try not to have too many penalties and shoot ourselves in the foot and things like that.”
“Whenever we’re facing Iowa, it’s going to be a big game,” said sophomore linebacker Mike Rose. “No matter where it is or where it ends up in the season, it’s a big game for us.”
The game kicks off at 3 o’clock in Ames on Saturday.