2016-17 Football Previews – (Big 12) – Cyclones
Looking for 2016 Iowa State Cyclones predictions? The Cyclones are in a tricky spot because, aside from the Kansas Jayhawks, there is a lot of talent and parity in the Big 12 Conference. Iowa State is improved and they narrowly lost at least three games a year ago, but due to the talent of everyone else, it could be tough to have that translate in the win column in 2016.
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2016-17 College Football Preview – Iowa State Cyclones
Head Coach: Matt Campbell
2015 Record: 3-9
Iowa State Cyclones Odds to win 2017 FBS Championship: +50000
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2016 Iowa State Cyclones Predictions: Team Strengths
The Cyclones have a couple of key offensive pieces that guide the unit’s production. Sophomore RB Mike Warren was the Big 12’s Freshman Player of the Year in 2015 after gaining 1,339 yards and scoring five majors.
He’ll be leaned on heavily to duplicate or even improve on that performance this season.
Aerially, the offense relies on intimidating-looking target Allen Lazard. The 6″5, 223-lb junior snagged 56 receptions for 808 yards and six TDs last year.
On the other side of the ball, senior DT Desmond Tucker is the bright spot on the front four. Iowa State also returns everyone from the back seven except for SS Qujuan Floyd.
Like Warren in the backfield, the Cyclones had a couple of freshmen assert themselves in ’15, notably LB Willie Harvey and CB Brian Peavy.
The Cycs also lose DE Dale Pierson’s 8.5 sacks, so ISU needs someone to emerge as a threat getting to the opposing QB.
Lastly, keep an eye on PR Trever Ryen, who, aside from having parents in love with the vowel “E”, took a punt 81 yards to the house last year. He’s a threat.
2016 Iowa State Cyclones Predictions: Team Weaknesses
Coach Campbell, coming over after achieving success at MAC outfit Toledo, is known for working magic with an offensive line. He’ll need to do that in Ames, as the front wall returns only one starter (junior OT Jake Campos) from a year ago.
The track record is promising, as Toledo had zero returning starters last year, yet the unit did not allow a sack in their first seven games. Campbell needs to a pull a rabbit out of the hat again.
The Cyclones also need better QB play to really make a leap forward. The likely starter is junior Joel Lanning, who had 1,247 pass yards after taking over from Sam Richardson halfway through last season.
But he only completed passes at a 55% clip.
If he doesn’t cut the mustard, there’s some interesting options available for Campbell in Georgia transfer Jacob Park (former Top 10 QB recruit out of high school), Oregon State transfer Kyle Kempt and strong-armed true frosh Zeb Noland.
Finally, a pass catcher must emerge beyond Lazard. Senior Dondre Daley and junior Jauan Wesley will be looked to first to establish themselves.
Iowa State Cyclones 2016 Prediction: 5-7
Coach Campbell did a solid job with the Toledo Rockets, and I expect him to have a hand in improving this football program in the Midwest.
The Cyclones also have five or six games this season that are winnable for them, but “best laid plans of mice and men” – there are bound to be some slip-ups and teachable moments along the way.
Iowa State is better than a three-win team and I think they will show that, but the Big 12 is just too challenging for the Cylcones to become bowl-eligible in 2016.
2016 Iowa State Cyclones Football Schedule
- 09/03/2016 vs. Northern Iowa 8:00 pm
- 09/10/2016 at Iowa 7:30 pm
- 09/17/2016 at TCU Noon
- 09/24/2016 vs. San Jose St. Noon
- 10/01/2016 vs. Baylor TBA
- 10/08/2016 at Oklahoma St. TBA
- 10/15/2016 at Texas TBA
- 10/22/2016 BYE
- 10/29/2016 vs. Kansas St. TBA
- 11/03/2016 vs. Oklahoma 7:30 pm
- 11/12/2016 at Kansas TBA
- 11/19/2016 vs. Texas Tech TBA
- 11/26/2016 vs. West Virginia TBA
What do you think about our 2016 Iowa State Cyclones predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2016!
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