Iowa State will look to successfully defend its home field in the Cy-Hawk series for the first time in 12 years when it faces Iowa on Saturday in Ames, Iowa.
The Cyclones (1-0) haven't beaten the Hawkeyes at home since Sept. 10, 2011, when they prevailed in a 44-41, triple-overtime thriller. Iowa State had also dropped six straight games to its in-state rival before coming away with a narrow 10-7 victory last season in Iowa City.
Although Iowa has had the upper hand and leads the all-time series 46-23, Cyclones quarterback Rocco Becht insists that his team won't be backing down on Saturday.
"They've been insanely good for the past 20 years. They have a good, solid defense (and) they're disciplined in what they do," Becht said of the Hawkeyes. "We're gonna go into this week prepared and every day we're gonna get better."
Becht was extremely efficient last Saturday, completing 10 of 13 passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns in a 30-9 win over Northern Iowa.
Iowa (1-0) also got off to a strong start, beating Utah State 24-14 last Saturday. Despite the victory, the Hawkeyes still fell out of the AP Top 25 poll after entering Week 1 as the No. 25 team in the country.
Cade McNamara threw for 191 yards and two TDs on 17-for-30 passing for Iowa, which struggled to get its running game going. The Hawkeyes finished with just 88 yards on 36 carries, and coach Kirk Ferentz knows it's going to be tough to move the ball on the ground against Iowa State.
"The challenge is they make it really tough to run, and they've done a great job of that," Ferentz said of the Cyclones. "They really tackle well at all positions, and you can't say that about every football team."
Defensive back Jeremiah Cooper headlined Iowa State's defense last Saturday, recording a pair of interceptions, including a pick-six. He was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week.
Ferentz will be looking for his 200th career win on Saturday. He has collected 187 victories at Iowa since 1999, with the other 12 coming at Maine from 1990-92.
—Field Level Media