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Previewing Iowa State - The Cyclone Offense

Iowa State runs a spread attack offensively but could be missing a key figure in running back Alexander Robinson. The Cyclones are currently 4th in the Big 12 in rushing offense with an average of 154.2 yards per game on the ground and a total of 925 yards rushed. Of those, 74.8 yards per game and 449 yards total belong to Robinson who is nursing a bum ankle. 


Sedrick Johnson

13 Rec/89 Yards


Collin Franklin

25 Rec/279 yards/2 TDs


Kelechi Osemele




Alex Alvarez




Ben Lamaak





Hayworth Hicks




Brayden Burris



Darius Darks

16 Rec/193 Yards/1 TD


Jake Williams

12 Rec/108 Yards/2 TDs


Austen Arnaud

96/168 - 958 Yards/8 TDs/7 Ints


Alexander Robinson

88 Rush/470 Yards/5 TDs

17 Rec/118 Yards


You can see from the stats just how important Robinson is to the Cyclone offense but then once you add to it leadership and experience then the impact of his potential absence. Should he not be able to go then freshman Shontre Johnson get the nod. He's averaging 7.5 yards per carry and has 181 rushing yards with a score this season. 

Another thing to look at if Robinson can't go is the impact it will have on quarterback Austen Arnaud who has a tendency to try and do everything on his own as it is. Arnaud has the ability to use his feet (135 rushing yards/1 touchdown this season) but its also his scrambles that lead to turnovers. Should he feel the pressure of a stalled rushing attack then it could result in some key turnovers. 

When Arnaud is passing his favorite target is senior tight end Collin Franklin. He's got good size (6-5/252) and creates a mismatch against linebackers. His 25 catches are tops on the team with Robinson at number to and then Darius Darks checks in at number three on the team with 16 receptions. Again, we see how key Alexander Robinson is to this offense.

Regardless of who is at running back this is an offensive attack where just playing assignment football on defense will get the Sooners a win. Defensive ends have to keep containment and not allow anything outside of them, linebackers have to fill gaps and defensive backs have to trust the guys in front of them. That said, we've yet to see Oklahoma do that for a full 60 minutes this season which means we can expect some limited success from the Iowa State offense.