No. 23 Iowa St. looks to bowl over Kansas State

Kansas State Wildcats

No. 23 Iowa State travels to Manhattan, Kan., to square off with Kansas State on Saturday in the annual “Farmageddon” game, which this year includes two bowl-eligible teams.

Iowa State won last year’s meeting in Ames, Iowa, to snap a 10-game losing streak to the Wildcats. K-State has won 21 of the last 25 games in the series to pull within 48-50-4 all-time.

Iowa State (7-4, 5-3 Big 12) is coming off a 41-31 victory over Kansas last Saturday. The Cyclones trailed in the fourth quarter before scoring the final 14 points.

Kansas State (7-4, 4-4) evened its Big 12 record with a 30-27 victory at Texas Tech. The Wildcats never trailed but had to withstand a late Texas Tech rally for the win.

Depending on whether the Big 12 gets a team in the College Football Playoff, or two teams in the New Year’s Six bowl games, a spot in the Valero Alamo Bowl is possible for the winner, though Oklahoma State appears to have the inside track.

If K-State defeats Iowa State and Oklahoma State falls to Oklahoma on Saturday, all three teams will finish the Big 12 season at 5-4, and K-State and Oklahoma State will be 8-4 overall, while Iowa State will be 7-5. But OSU defeated both teams in Big 12 competition.

So the Camping World Bowl appears the most likely destination for the winner of “Farmageddon” in the previous scenario. If the Big 12 only gets one New Year’s Six bowl bid, then the Iowa State-Kansas State winner likely will head to the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl. The loser could fall as low as the Cheez-It Bowl.

Neither coach is thinking too much about where his team will spend bowl season. They’re focused on the task at hand.

K-State has rushed for 2,037 yards and 26 rushing touchdowns after tallying only 20 rushing scores a year ago. On defense, K-State has given up just 10 passing TDs this season, which are tied for the sixth fewest nationally.

Iowa State coach Matt Campbell is impressed with the Wildcats under first-year coach Chris Klieman.

“I think they’ve taken a very similar mindset to what Coach (Bill) Snyder had built there. They don’t beat themselves. Coach Snyder was the beacon of what excellence looks like in football. I really think they’ve kept that mentality. North Dakota State (where Klieman won four FCS championships in five years) is elite as well.

“I think it’s one of those games that will demand your best because you know this is a team that’s been built to not beat themselves.”

The Wildcats will have their hands full with ISU quarterback Brock Purdy, last week’s Big 12 offensive player of the week who leads the offense with 3,575 passing yards and 26 touchdowns. Receivers Deshaunte Jones, who might be out with an injury, La’Michael Pettway and tight end Charlie Kolar are his favorite targets.

“(Purdy is) playing with great confidence,” Klieman said. “He has a lot of weapons out there and he utilizes them all. He doesn’t panic under pressure. He buys himself time. And he’s an extremely accurate player.”

“He’s a fun guy to watch on film, because he makes so many plays. I don’t know if I’ll have as much fun watching him live.”

–Field Level Media

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