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 matchup against Kansas State in 'Farmaggedon'.
Iowa State has been in this position before. Just two seasons ago, Iowa State was 7-4 and had a game against the Kansas State Wildcats who were also 7-4. Iowa State lost 20-19 against Kansas State after three controversial plays where either the referees threw a flag that signaled a penalty against Kansas State or where the officials missed a penalty on Kansas State.
Fast forward two years later and we are in the exact same position again, as the Cyclones are 7-4 (5-3 Big 12) and the Wildcats are 7-4 (4-4 Big 12).
Kansas State started off hot with a 6-2 (3-2 Big 12) record and beat the then fifth ranked Oklahoma Sooners 48-41.
Since then the Wildcats lost to West Virginia (who Iowa State beat by 24 on the road) by four at home, lost to Texas (who Iowa State beat by two in Ames) by three on the road and beat Texas Tech (who Iowa State beat by ten on the road) by three on the road.
What we know about this game is that it's going to be a close one, as ten out of the 11 previous matchups between these two have been decided by one possession (eight points or less). The Wildcats have won ten out of 11 of those games. However, I see things going the Cyclones way.
I think that this game will come down to which player can make the clutch plays towards the end of the game. While Kansas State quarterback Skylar Thompson has made clutch plays in the past (i.e. against Iowa State in the final seconds in 2017.), I see Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy making the final Clutch play today offensively.
The Cyclones will win on a game-winning touchdown pass in the final four minutes of the game.
Prediction: Iowa State 28, Kansas State 24.
Iowa State has reasons to be worried heading into a game versus Kansas State on Saturday after a close call against Kansas last week.
The Cyclones are heading onto the road against a remarkably better opponent, which will result in a loss for the Cyclones to close the Big 12 season.
Defensively, the Wildcats have the third best passing defense in the conference, which could slow down the Cyclones' top passing attack in the Big 12. Overall, Kansas State ranks third in scoring defense in the conference this season.
Iowa State will struggle on third down in Manhattan, Kansas as the Cyclones rank seventh in the conference in converting on third down offensively and the Wildcats rank first in third down defense.
If the Wildcats are able to slow down the Cyclone passing attack, they will be able to dictate the pacing of the game and keep Brock Purdy on the sidelines by controlling the time of possession — an area the Wildcats rank first amongst the rest of the Big 12's pass happy offenses.
The Wildcats will control the ball even more when they avoid turnovers and force the Cyclones to give the Wildcats some easy possessions with fumbles or interceptions. Kansas State is third in the Big 12 in turnover margin.
Kansas State's offense is good enough to put points on the board and the team converts over 95% of their opportunities in the red zone and expect Joshua Youngblood — the conference's best kickoff returner — to either score on a return or give the Wildcats great field position for a quick offensive drive and score.
Sorry Cyclone fans. In this game, it's all Wildcats in 'Farmageddon'.
Prediction: Wildcats 27, Cyclones 17