Every week, the Iowa State Daily's Sam Stuve will deliver the good news for Iowa State football fans as "Good Cop" and Jack Shover will play devil's advocate as "Bad Cop."
This week, Stuve and Shover will dissect Iowa State's much anticipated game against TCU.
Iowa State has struggled to score against TCU with Matt Campbell as head coach. In three games against the Horned Frogs, the Cyclones have averaged 16 points a game have a 1-2 record in those games.
TCU has gotten off to a good start this season, winning three out of its first four games, and they have scored at least 34 points in their games.
However, the Horned Frogs have not played a defense like Iowa State's.
Saturday's game is looking like it'll be a wet and windy day as the temperature is expected to be 55 degrees with 15 miles per hour wind and a strong chance for heavy thunderstorms.
In those kinds of games, there are two major factors in deciding a winner. Which team does better against the run and which team can handle the conditions better?
Both teams are strong defensively. TCU's defense is allowing 18.8 points per game, and Iowa State's defense is allowing 21.7 points per game.
All three of the Cyclones' home games have been played in wet conditions, so they should be prepared.
TCU has been dominant running the ball, averaging 275 rushing yards a game thus far. Meanwhile, Iowa State is only averaging 152.25 rushing yards a game.
Because both defenses are really good, both teams will probably only to be able to rush for around 150 yards each.
This game should be a lot like the 2017 matchup, which was a low-scoring defensive battle and saw the 25th-ranked Cyclones beat the fourth-ranked Horned Frogs, 14-7 in Ames.
Because of Iowa State's experience in games like this as of late, Iowa State should be able to escape with a victory.
Prediction: Iowa State 21, TCU 17
Iowa State has been out of sync on offense this season and the Cyclones won’t have an easy defensive team this week against TCU.
The Horned Frogs are the third best team in the Big 12 this season in scoring defense and are only allowing their opponents to average 18.8 points a game. Iowa State is already the fourth worst offense in the conference and averages 34.8 points a game.
Iowa State’s troubles on offense have mostly been in the run game and the team ranks as the second worst team in the conference in terms of total rushing yards.
Whether it is Johnnie Lang, Sheldon Croney or any other of the Cyclones’ running backs carrying the rock, they will have trouble with the Horned Frogs rush defense and particularly linebacker Garret Wallow.
Wallow leads the conference in total tackles with 48 and solo tackles with 31.
On the offensive side of the ball for the Horned Frogs, they have a strong running back in Darius Anderson, who has 483 rushing yards this season and an average of 8.2 yards an attempt.
If Anderson is able to get into the second and third levels of the defense, he has shown an ability to make defenders miss and add extra yards to his runs.
When Iowa State’s offense can’t get going, Anderson will have even more opportunities to break off strong runs for the Horn Frogs, even though Iowa State has one of the best run defenses in the conference.
TCU has arguably the worst passing attack in the Big 12 this season, but the run game — especially for Anderson — could give the Cyclones fits.
With an anemic Iowa State offense and strong TCU run game, this game has the look of a defensive battle — one Iowa State will find itself on the wrong end of.
Prediction: TCU 14, ISU 10