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Iowa State vs. Drake: Preview and Prediction

NCAA Football: Oklahoma at Iowa State

Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming Big 12 game in our Iowa State vs. Drake preview and prediction. 

Game info

11:00 a.m. Central Time, Saturday, December 1st, 2018, Jack Trice Stadium, Ames, Iowa

TV: Cyclones.TV

Radio: Drake: 1350 ESPN (Des Moines); Iowa State: Cyclone Radio Network/Learfield; Satellite Radio: N/A

Fun Fact: The two teams first played 120 years ago with a 17-16 ISU victory in 1898. ISU leads the all-time series vs. Drake 48-17-4. Drake won the last meeting in 1985 with a 20-17 win in Ames.

 

Key players

Drake

DB Will Warner

Warner has been as good of a ballhawk as there is at the FCS level. His eight interceptions are the most in the nation and he also leads the FCS level with 223 interception return yards. He was named a finalist for the STATS FCS Buck Buchanan Award, given to the nation’s top defender. He had three of his interceptions in one game against Marist.

WR Steven Doran

Doran had 52 catches for 918 yards this season, along with 12 touchdowns. He has 400 more receiving yards than anyone else on the team, plus seven more touchdowns than anyone else on the team. Two weeks ago, his most recent game, against Moorehead State, Doran had 5 catches for 159 yards and two touchdowns. He was named a second-team all-conference player.

Iowa State

WR Hakeem Butler

Butler was arguably one of the biggest snubs from the All-Big 12 first team. His season did get off the a slow start, but he came on strong once Brock Purdy became the starter, finishing with at least 99 receiving yards in five of his final six games. Against Kansas State last week, Butler had five catches for 144 yards and a touchdown.

S Greg Eisworth

The Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year is one of the many veterans in the secondary. Drake prefers to throw the ball, so Eisworth will be busy once again. He leads the team with 84 total tackles, along with four tackles for loss, showing his ability to play in the box as well. He led ISU in tackles in five of their 11 games this year. 

 

Key storylines

Drake

Play great defense. The Bulldogs need their defense to keep them in this game. They have one of the best units at the FCS level, ranking eighth nationally in scoring defense (18.3 PPG), 13th in total defense (198.3 YPG), sixth in rushing defense (95.1 YPG), eighth in interceptions (16) and seventh in tackles for loss per game (8.3). If Iowa State comes out a little sleepy in this one, Drake’s defense might be able to be the difference maker early, try to force a key turnover, and maybe catch the Cyclones off guard. 

Iowa State

Care. I hate to say it, but that’s what this game comes down to for Iowa State. In many ways, this is a very awkward situation. The Cyclones are coming off a thrilling comeback in Farmageddon, now it’s time to take on a Drake team that had a nice season at the FCS level, going 7-3 and 6-2 in conference, but it’s not going to be an easy one to get up for. It’s not like early in the season when it’s your opener or second game and everyone is motivated and wanting to improve. Yes, there’s still a bowl game to go to, but the Big 12 awards have been given out, there is the conference championship game also being played at the same time. The fan base will be sleepy as well. Care. And Iowa State rolls. 

Prediction

Iowa State 38, Drake 10

Iowa State might have a bit of a hangover effect, but they’ll take care of business. Drake is not one of those FCS teams that plays up… ever. The Bulldogs haven’t played an FBS team since September 20th, 1997, when they beat South Florida 23-22. Drake has a very good defense, but they haven’t seen anyone like Hakeem Butler or David Montgomery this season. And while their offense has experience, led by fifth-year senior QB Grant Kraemer, he has not even sniffed a defense like Iowa State’s. The Cyclones bring quite a bit more firepower than Valparaiso, Missouri S&T and Morehead State.

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