Bowl season starts this weekend and eight of Iowa State’s 2010 football opponents will participate. Here is a look at each of the bowl games that a Cyclone foe is playing in (with an ISU angle to consider):
Kansas State vs. Syracuse (Pinstripe): Iowa State and Kansas State opened the Big 12 season in Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium. The inaugural Pinstripe Bowl will be the Wildcats’ second game in a professional team stadium this season. The bowl game, however, will be in a pro baseball (Yankee) stadium.
Missouri vs. Iowa (Insight): The Cyclones held Mizzou to season lows of 14 points and 306 total yards in the regular-season finale. Will Iowa’s highly talked about defense (seventh nationally in scoring) limit the Tigers as well as ISU did?
Nebraska vs. Washington (Holiday): Will it come down to a two-point PAT? Washington beat Oregon State this year 35-34 when the Beavers’ two-point PAT in the second OT failed. Iowa State nearly pulled off an upset of the Huskers in Jack Trice Stadium when its two-point PAT try in overtime just missed.
Northern Illinois vs. Fresno State (Humanitarian): The Huskies are hard to gauge since both their coach and QB are different from the meeting with Iowa State. If NIU wins, they will become only the second-ever 11-win team that Iowa State has defeated.
Oklahoma vs. Connecticut (Fiesta): The Sooners will represent the Big 12 in the Fiesta Bowl in what experts feel is the most one-sided BCS game. Both the Sooners and Huskies are on next season’s Iowa State schedule. UConn will become the first non-Big 12 school (other than Iowa) to face ISU after a BCS bowl season.
Texas Tech vs. Northwestern (TicketCity): Three opponents scored more than 45 points against Texas Tech this fall (Oklahoma & Texas A&M each tallied 45). The only team to score more than 45 against Tech was Iowa State (52). It’s doubtful that NU will match that prowess without QB Dan Persa, who is injured.
Utah vs. Boise State (MAACO): Boise State’s worst team stat is punt return defense (91st nationally). Utah will counter with national punt return leader Shaky Smithson (19.7 per return). The Cyclones watched Smithson return five punts for 145 yards, including a 78 yarder.Let the bowl parade begin!
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