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2019 Season

Preview: Iowa State Set To Take On The Fighting Irish In Orlando

The Cyclones have a good chance for an upset as they take on a traditional powerhouse.

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Getty Images - David K. Purdy

Iowa State’s season is a let down from where many fans expected them to be. Many fans were expecting this to be the year where they finally burst into the Big 12 Championship game. Instead, the Cyclones finished 7-5 on a loss to Kansas State in Farmageddon, and were dominated in the trenches on both sides of the line. Brock Purdy had no time to throw and there were no running lanes for Breece Hall.

The rest of the season is hard to put into words. The team played pretty well for the most part, with a few disappointing drives or quarters mixed in here or there. With the emergence of freshman running back, Breece Hall, and plenty of other stars, including Brock Purdy, coming back, many Iowa State fans feel as though next year might be another shot at what they were hoping for this year.

Playing Notre Dame in the Camping World Bowl is a chance for Iowa State to get a huge monkey off of its back. They haven’t quite gotten that big win that they have gotten the past few years. The Texas win was good, but it wasn’t a big ranked upset like #3 Oklahoma and #4 TCU in 2017 and #6 West Virginia in 2018. Going against #15 Notre Dame is a last chance for the 2019 season.

  • Date/Time : Dec 28, 11:00 AM CT 
  • Where: Camping World Stadium (Orlando, FL)
  • Forecast:
  • TV: ABC
  • Stream: WatchESPN
  • Betting Line: ND -3.5 O/U 54

No. 15 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-2)

Iowa State got one heck of a bowl matchup for only going 7-5. The Irish come into this one off a five game winning streak, won that included victories over teams like Virginia Tech, Navy, and Stanford. Part of the reason that ISU was selected to play in Orlando against, storied program, Notre Dame, was because they had shown that they were a great team that just had so many close losses to other good teams.

The Notre Dame offensive attack is led by quarterback Ian Book, who’s been good at getting the ball and in the end zone while also not turning it over, as evidenced by his 33 touchdowns to only six interceptions. One of Book’s favorite targets is senior Chase Claypool, who stands just shy of six and a half feet and has 891 yards receiving to boot. A bevy of talented running backs, in addition, have helped Notre Dame to be one of the higher-scoring offenses in FBS, averaging 37.1 points per contest.

Defensively, the Irish’s ability to defend the pass is the strength of this team, as they’ve gotten elite play out of their secondary this year. Notre Dame is fairly stout in the front seven as well, having allowed an average of 160.6 yards per game on the ground this season.

Iowa State Cyclones (7-5)

This matchup will provide the Cyclones the opportunity to win against big physical teams. Iowa State has shown the ability to be really physical, but for some reason tends to struggle beating other physical teams. Just to name a few examples; Iowa over the past several seasons, Texas last year, Kansas State over the past several years. If the offensive line can give Brock Purdy at least a little bit of time to throw, I think he will be able to pick apart this Notre Dame secondary.

In fact, the Cyclones have managed to put up some good numbers this season in distributing the ball to all of their offensive talent. Iowa State comes into the matchup averaging 318.3 yards per game, and by multiple statistical measures, should be able to hold their own when it comes to throwing the ball. Breece Hall came on later in the season at running back for Iowa State, but overall going to the ground game has produced inconsistent results.

On the other side of the ball, Iowa State has not had the kind of year they might have liked, but have nonetheless been solid in containing opposing offenses. They’ve allowed only 228.3 yards passing this season, and 3.8 yards per rushing attempt. A noticeable area in which they’ve struggled is in their ability to get turnovers, of which the Cyclones have only 13 total on the year.

Keys To The Game For Iowa State

Find Success On The Ground – Iowa State will likely need a combination of Purdy and Hall to get yardage on the ground in order to try and keep Notre Dame honest. The Cyclones likely won’t be able to run the ball at will against the Irish, but getting their rushing game stuffed all day will make it difficult for Iowa State to really utilize their passing attack.

Win The Turnover Margin – The Cylcones might also need to be in the plus in the turnover margin in order to beat a team that takes care of the ball so well in Notre Dame. If Iowa State can do that, they will be able to get an advantage of a squad that doesn’t make many mistakes.

Game Prediction

If you compare the histories of these programs, they couldn’t be further apart. Notre Dame is one of the seven Power 5 teams that have won 900 games or more in program history. Iowa State is sixth to last among Power 5 teams in all-time wins at 532. They have only played thirty-six more games. All in all, this should be a fun matchup before the College Football Playoff kicks off later that day. The crowd should be pretty big with one team having a good program history and a huge fan base, and one team having a fan base that travels ridiculously well and loves to party. Iowa State with the upset by a field goal.

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