FourFourThree Iowa State Football: Biggest storylines heading into Saturday’s game against Wisconsin-Madison The Iowa State Sun Belt Conference championship game against the Badgers is going to be interesting to watch.
The Badgers have been on a tear lately, but there has been little to no help on the offensive side of the ball.
Iowa State has just one player who can play all three positions in its offensive line, and the only two players on its offensive lines who can also play both guard and tackle are running backs.
With three starters on the roster that can play both tackle and guard, and just one tackle who can both play guard and guard tackle, it will be interesting if the Badger offense can take advantage of the Badge’s deficiencies on the ground.
The most important player for Iowa State on Saturday will be quarterback Chad Kelly, who is set to get the start for the Cyclones.
Kelly started the season as a true freshman and had just four starts before his sophomore year ended.
Iowa was just 4-8 in Kelly’s two seasons with the Cyclone’s roster, including a 10-3 loss to Wisconsin in the season finale.
That game saw Kelly throw for 549 yards and five touchdowns, but it was his first game of his career.
It was a game he was unsure he could play, but he said after that game that he was ready for anything and everything.
Iowa State has a few offensive weapons that could be dangerous on Saturday.
The Cyclones backfield is one of the best in the country, with running backs Justin Jackson and Tyler Murphy, as well as wide receivers Devin Clark and D’Andre Davis, all of whom can play either tackle or guard.
Running back Travon Van De Jong will be looking to get back into the mix in his return from injury, as Iowa State was one of three teams to take advantage in a week that featured two teams that are ranked in the top 10 in the Big Ten.
Iowa also has four true freshmen on its roster, as quarterback Tyler Kiehl and running back Zach Collins are both expected to be active against Wisconsin.
It will be hard for the Badging defense to make up ground against the Cyclonauts, who have not had much success against the run since the 2013 season.
Iowa is one-for-seven against opponents with more than 400 yards rushing, and only has three games this season against teams with more yards than it has allowed.
However, Iowa has been able to beat the Badges running game, which is one reason why the Badgeds defense has struggled so far this season.
The Badgers also have three returning starters on its defense, and they are all capable of putting pressure on the Cycloner’s offense.
The only question mark that Iowa State will have heading into this game is quarterback Cody Kessler, who was just signed in December.
The sophomore was just 10-of-26 for 126 yards and two touchdowns in Iowa State’s season opener.
However in that game, Kessler threw two interceptions, and he was sacked four times.
The next game against Purdue, he threw four interceptions and ran for just four yards.
Kessler will have to find a way to win Saturday’s contest against Wisconsin, and hopefully he can.
The Big Ten Championship game will be played in Madison, Wisconsin, with the winner advancing to the Big Dance, where they will face the winner of the Big East Championship game.