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Iowa State vs. TCU pick: Breaking down Friday’s regular-season finale
It’s a special senior day for Cyclones
AMES — Breaking down Friday’s Big 12 football game between TCU (5-6, 3-5) and Iowa State (6-5, 4-4) at 3:30 p.m. (FS1) inside Jack Trice Stadium.
Iowa State offense
Iowa State running back Breece Hall’s numbers have tailed off in recent weeks — at least relative to the numbers he had been putting up.
Against Texas Tech, he rushed 18 times for 51 yards and two touchdowns and against Oklahoma he carried 19 times for 59 yards and a touchdown. Part of that is due to the fact the Cyclones found themselves trailing in both of those games and had to pass the ball a lot to try and get back in those games.
But against TCU on Friday, Iowa State needs to find a way to establish Hall early and get him going.
It’s hard to figure out what to make of TCU’s offense just based off of the injuries it’s dealt with all season.
Quarterback Max Duggan has missed time due to injury, running back Zach Evans hasn’t played since Week 6 against West Virginia and leading receiver Quentin Johnston has missed time.
Still TCU is second in the Big 12 in total yards per game, averaging 444 yards. But the Horned Frogs are having trouble turning those yards into points. TCU is seventh in the Big 12 in scoring, averaging 30 points per game.
Iowa State defense
Like TCU’s offense, Iowa State’s defense has dealt with a number of injuries.
Linebacker Mike Rose has missed a game and fellow linebacker O’Rien Vance missed the last game and Campbell said he was questionable for this week. Defensive end Will McDonald was only used situationally last week against Oklahoma with what Campbell called a strain.
Despite the injuries, Iowa State’s defense has found ways to step up when it needs to. It held Oklahoma quarterback Caleb Williams in check, allowing him to complete just 8 of his 18 passes for 87 yards. Oklahoma also was just 1 of 10 on third downs.
In recent years, Iowa State and TCU had traded spots atop the Big 12 defensive leaderboards. Both were very good defensive teams.
But this season, TCU has taken a sizable step back. The Horned Frogs have the second-worst defense in the Big 12 — better only than Kansas.
TCU has allowed 34 points and an eye-popping 454 yards per game. Its yards per play numbers aren’t any better. The Horned Frogs have allowed 7 yards per play. Kansas has allowed 7.3.
TCU-Iowa State prediction
This isn’t a typical TCU team. The defense isn’t good, Gary Patterson isn’t the coach and the whole offense hasn’t really played together. It’s senior day for Iowa State — and a very special senior day at that, given the impact the group has made as Cyclones.
Prediction — Iowa State 34, TCU 21