The Iowa football team heads into Week 2 against a very familiar foe.
This is the week many college football fans in this state relish, especially when the prospects for both teams appear, at least, decent.
That seems to be the case in 2018.
But this year’s game will have a unique twist. While this is Week 2, it technically will be the season opener for Iowa State, which visits Kinnick Stadium Saturday for a 4 p.m. kickoff.
The Cyclones’ opener Saturday against South Dakota State at Jack Trice Stadium was canceled by weather.
“It takes an emotional toll on your football team,” ISU Coach Matt Campbell said during Monday’s Big 12 Conference teleconference.
While many know this team inside and out, here are 5 Things about the Cyclones and Saturday’s game.
1. The Series
This is the 15th year for the “Cy-Hawk” Series, a name given to all sports competition between Iowa and Iowa State. The current football series has run consecutively since 1977, when the Hawks won at home, 12-10. It was idle from 1935 through 1976.
This series actually started in 1894 with a 16-8 Cyclones win in Iowa City. Iowa hosted the first seven games. ISU also won in 1985, 24-0, and 1897, 12-0. Iowa won the next five games by scores of 5-0, 6-0, 12-6, 10-6 and 8-0. Real barnburners.
Iowa State’s longest winning streak in this rivalry is five, from 1998 through 2002.
Iowa owns a 43-22 advantage overall, but the teams have split the last 20 contests.
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2. Season opener
Saturday wasn’t the first time a Campbell-coached team had a game canceled by weather.
In 2015, Campbell’s last season as Toledo’s coach, his team had a 16-7 halftime lead over Stony Brook when the Thursday night game was called off after midnight due to severe weather. The first half had three weather delays totaling three hours.
The following Saturday, Campbell’s 21-point underdog Rockets went to Arkansas and upset the Razorbacks, 16-12.
“You have got to play the next game,” Campbell said Monday.
The coaching adage is teams grow the most between Games 1 and 2. Does that give Iowa an advantage, since it played its Week 1 game?
“You could probably spin it any way you want,” Campbell said.
ISU freshman offensive lineman Sean Foster is the son of Troy Foster, a member of the Iowa football team from 1990 to ’94.
ISU graduate assistant Colby Kratch is the son of Bob Kratch, who was an all-Big Ten lineman in the late 1980s.
The Cyclones also have a handful of players heading “home” on Saturday. Starting offensive linemen Julian Good-Jones (Washington) and Bryce Meeker (Prairie) are from Cedar Rapids, as are kick returner Landon Akers (Washington) and linebacker O’Rien Vance (Washington). Defensive end Conner Greene and offensive lineman Alex Kleinow (Iowa City West) are from North Liberty.
4. Running history
Iowa State has definitely had its share of outstanding running backs over the years.
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Troy Davis is probably the most famous, running for 2,185 yards in 1996, a year after gaining 2,010. His brother, Darren, rushed for 1,388 yards in 1999.
Then there’s names like Blaise Bryan (1,516 in 1989) and Dywane Crutchfield (1,312 in 1980).
That’s a little blast from the past, but recent running backs like Mike Warren and David Montgomery are no slouches.
Montgomery rushed for 1,146 yards last season. He had six 100-plus-yard games, led the nation in missed tackles (109) and was named first-team All-American by Pro Football Focus.
Lost in Montgomery’s breakout 2017 was Warren, who rushed for 1,339 yards in 2015 — a number that ranks fifth all-time on ISU’s season rushing list. Warren, however, is listed fifth on the Cyclones depth chart behind Montgomery, Sheldon Croney, Johnnie Lang and Kene Nwangwu.
5. History lesson
Iowa State’s first All-American was Dick Barker in 1919. He made the Chicago Tribune and Knute Rockne honor teams and later signed with the Chicago Bears. The second was center Polly Wallace in 1920.
The two came to Iowa State from Oklahoma City and both also wrestled for the Cyclones. Barker, who later coached at Cornell College in Mount Vernon and started the wrestling program at Michigan, is in the College Wrestling Hall of Fame.
The Gazette’s Mike Hlas contributed to this report.
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