#27 Iowa State Football 2020 Preview

Iowa State Cyclones
Overall Rank: #27
#4 Big 12
 Iowa State Logo
Iowa State has won seven or eight games each of the last three seasons. By the Cyclones standards that type of consistent success is impressive. But that recent success has been building towards the 2020 campaign. Coach Matt Campbell will have an extremely experienced roster and this is the year ISU can make a serious push towards a Big 12 title.
2019 Record: 7-6, 5-4
2019 Bowl: Camping World Bowl vs. Notre Dame (L 9-33)
Coach: Matt Campbell (26-25 at Iowa State, 62-40 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Tom Manning
Defensive Coordinator: Jon Heacock
Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Breece Hall, RB, 897 yards
Passing: Brock Purdy, QB, 3,982 yards
Receiving: Tarique Milton, WR, 722 yards
Tackles: Lawrence White, DB, 84
Sacks: O’Rien Vance, LB, 6.5
Interceptions: Lawrence White, DB, 2
Other Key Returnees: RB Johnnie Lang, TE Charlie Kolar, TE Chase Allen, OL Trevor Downing, LB Mike Rose, DB Greg Eisworth, DB Anthony Johnson
Key Losses: WR Deshaunte Jones, WR Le’Michael Pettway, OL Julian Good-Jones, LB Marcel Spears, DB Braxton Lewis, DL Ray Lima
Iowa State ranked 11th in the nation in passing offense and Brock Purdy is back for his junior season after throwing for 3,982 yards and 27 touchdowns in 2019. Tarique Milton will again be Purdy’s big play receiving threat. Milton averaged nearly 21 yards per catch. The safety valve option is All-Big 12 tight end Charlie Kolar, who caught 51 passes for 697 yards and seven touchdowns. At running back, Breece Hall earned second-team All-Big 12 accolades as a freshman. He rushed for 897 yards and nine scores and added 252 yards and another trip to the end zone through the air. With a year of experience under his belt, Iowa State should now have the luxury of mixing up their offense a bit more and stick to the ground.
Zach Petersen stepped into the starting lineup when JaQuan Bailey went down with an injury. Now both are back and should give the Cyclones a very good pass rush. Two years ago Bailey led the team with 8.0 sacks and he will finish this season as Iowa State’s all-time sack leader. The Cyclones should boast one of the best linebacker corps in the Big 12 even without star Marcel Spears. O’Rien Vance is a great pass rushing linebacker who tallied 6.5 sacks in 2019. Mike Rose has played inside and outside linebacker and tallied 77 tackles, including 3.5 sacks and 9.5 tackles-for-loss last season. Senior Jake Hummel was sitting behind Spears, but has been productive when given the chance. Greg Eisworth and Lawrence White lead an impressive secondary that will benefit from the consistent pass rush.
The Bottom Line:
The fans in Ames should be looking forward to the 2020 campaign. If the Cyclones are going to be serious about contending for a conference title, the big games will be against Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Texas. But before that we should get a good look at Iowa State when they travel to rival Iowa on September 12th. A win there and the Cyclones could start 5-0. Then they head to Oklahoma State and host Oklahoma the following week. If Iowa State can split those games, they will still be in good shape to reach the conference championship game.
Projected Bowl: Texas Bowl
2019 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 133.0 (102nd in nation, 9th in conference)
Passing Offense: 311.3 (11, 2)
Total Offense: 444.3 (27, 5)
Scoring Offense: 32.2 (39, 5)
Rushing Defense: 139.5 (47, 4)
Pass Defense: 229.8 (72, 5)
Total Defense: 369.3 (45, 5)
Scoring Defense: 25.9 (50, 3)
Turnover Margin: -0.23 (86, 7)
Sacks: 2.15 (64, 4)
Sacks Allowed: 1.38 (18, 1)
Madness 2020 NFL Draft Rankings:
#50 Brock Purdy
#58 Charlie Kolar