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Iowa State Cyclones 2016 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart, Outlook

Iowa State Cyclones 2016 Preview

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The Iowa State Cyclones enter the 2016 season with a new head coach in Matt Campbell, who led the Toledo Rockets to a 35-15 record and won two MAC West divisions. Iowa State has nowhere to go but up after winning just eight games the last three seasons and not making a bowl appearance since 2012.

It’s been awhile since Iowa State was relevant on the football field.

Iowa State Cyclones 2016 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart, Outlook

USA TODAY Sports

Here is your 2016 Iowa State Cyclones college football preview.

Offense: Iowa State’s offense will once again be led by running back Mike Warren, who rushed for more than 1,300 yards and five touchdowns as a frenchman. Warren moved the chains 63 times on 227 carries and was 18th in the country in rushing yards per game. At quarterback, Joel Lanning will replace Sam Richardson after showing glimpses of a bright future with a 55.4 percent completion percentage and 10 touchdown passes to four interceptions. Lanning was once a highly recruited player and did torch Kansas State on the road with three touchdowns. The Cyclones also have their leading receiver returning, as Allen Lazard was ninth in the Big 12 last season with 807 receiving yards on 56 receptions. Although Lazard will need to take his game to another level with D'Vario Montgomery and Jauan Wesley no longer on the team. The concern with Iowa State’s offense is the offensive line that only returns one starter in Jake Campos. The Cyclones allowed 42 sacks last season and with only one starter back, those numbers could be ugly again.

Defense: Iowa State returns 10 starters from a defense that ranked eighth in the Big 12 with an average of 453 yards allowed. Besides losing Qujuan Floyd and double-digit sacker Dale Pierson, Iowa State’s defense has a lot of young and intriguing players to help take that next step. Starting with defensive back Brian Peavy, who led the Cyclones with 82 tackles and 10 pass deflections as a freshman. Demond Tucker was tied for ninth in the Big 12 with six sacks and Jarnor Jones had seven tackles for loss and six pass deflections. The Cyclones may have allowed a lot of yards last season, but their young defense did have 30 sacks, 40 passes broken up 74 tackles for loss. Iowa State has a playmaking defense and should be able to improve last years numbers with more experience this time around.

Special Teams: Colin Downing returns at punter after averaging 40.8 yards per attempt on 53 punts. Cole Netten returns at kicker after making 14 of 19 field goal attempts and 35 of 36 extra points.

Outlook: Even with an exciting coach in Campbell calling the shots, this is still a program that hasn’t had a winning season since 2009. Patience. The Cyclones once again have enough offensive firepower to put points on the board and put a scare in Big 12 opponents, but expecting an immediate turnaround may be asking for too much. The Cyclones will pull off a surprise here and there, but there’s not enough depth in place to do anything serious in a competitive Big 12 conference.

Schedule

  Sat, Sep 03  Northern Iowa Ames, Iowa   7:00 p.m.   Cyclones.tv   
  Sat, Sep 10  Iowa Iowa City, Iowa   6:30 p.m.   BTN   
  Sat, Sep 17  TCU * Ft. Worth, Texas   11:00 a.m.   FS1   
  Sat, Sep 24  San Jose State Ames, Iowa   11:00 a.m.   FSN   
  Sat, Oct 01  Baylor * Ames, Iowa   TBA    
  Sat, Oct 08  Oklahoma State * Stillwater, Okla.   TBA    
  Sat, Oct 15  Texas * Austin, Texas   TBA   LHN/Cyclones.tv   
  Sat, Oct 29  Kansas State (Homecoming) * Ames, Iowa   TBA    
  Thu, Nov 03  Oklahoma * Ames, Iowa   6:30 p.m.   ESPN   
  Sat, Nov 12  Kansas * Lawrence, Kan.   TBA    
  Sat, Nov 19  Texas Tech * Ames, Iowa   TBA    
  Sat, Nov 26  West Virginia * Ames, Iowa   TBA

 

 

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