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Previewing Iowa State - The Cyclone Defense

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If DeMarco Murray was able to run for 100 plus yards against Texas (currently 2nd in the Big 12 against the rush) then you'd think that he's at least licking his chops about the potential of gashing through an Iowa State defense that is giving up over 200 yards a game on the ground and is 11th in the conference against the rush. That's not the only area the Cyclones struggle defensively though.


Patrick Neal 

15 Tkls/1 Sk


Bailey Johnson

7 Tkls



Stephen Ruempolhamer

24 Tkls/2 Sks



Rashawn Parker

14 Tkls





Ter'ran Benton 

23 Tkls/1 Sk


Leonard Johnson

33 Tkls



A.J. Klein

62 Tkls/3 Ints


Jake Knott

58 Tkls/3 Ints


Matt Tau'fo'ou

10 Tkls


Zac Sandvig

25 Tkls/1 Int




Michael O'Connell

24 Tkls




Iowa State is ranked 88th nationally in points allowed by allowing 29.7 points per game and they're 9th in the Big 12 in passing defense, giving up 217.7 yards per game through the air. 

The strength of the Cyclone defense is among the linebackers where A.J. Klein and Jake Knott are one of the top duos of linebackers in the conference. They are the team's top two tacklers and are tied for the team lead in interceptions. On top of that Klein is averaging 33.3 yards per return on interceptions which eludes to the fact that he can do something once the ball gets in his hands other than just fall on it. 

In the same way that DeMarco Murray is licking his chops about facing the Cyclone rush defense, Landry Jones may have the same feelings towards the ISU pass rush. The Cyclones have only managed to produce six sacks this season and two of them are by Stephen Ruempolhamer who leads the team. 

If they execute, the Sooners have the opportunity to be completely balanced Saturday night against the Cyclones. I would expect the offense to mix things up in play calling in an effort to keep the Iowa State defense guessing and not allowing them to pick up on any tendencies. There shouldn't be an area of advantage for the ISU defense unless they sell out to stop the run in which case should lead to another career day for Landry Jones.