Iowa State Win Total Prediction
For the first time since 1978, Iowa State had back-to-back 8-win seasons last year. Will the Cyclones be able to take the next step as a program in 2019?
Matt Campbell comes into his fourth year as head coach of Iowa State. The Cyclones were just 3-9 in his first year in 2016, but have won eight games each of the last two years. In 2018, the Cyclones were 6-3 in the Big 12, finishing third in the conference. According to oddsmakers, the Cyclones are listed with an over/under of 8 wins for the 2019 regular season. The over is listed with +120 odds, while the under is set at -140.
Iowa State wasn’t terribly strong on offense last season. The Cyclones averaged just 26.8 points and 371.2 yards per game, both of which ranked in the bottom third of the country. ISU has six starters back on offense this year, including four on the offensive line. Also back is dual-threat QB Brock Purdy, who threw for 1,935 yards and 16 touchdowns while rushing for 262 yards and three scores. He is likely to have to be more of playmaker this year with the loss of 1,000-yard rusher David Montgomery and 1,000-yard receiver Hakeem Butler.
Defense was the strength for Iowa State last season. The Cyclones allowed 22.9 points and 349.2 yards per game, which ranked in the top third of the nation. The strength of the unit was the run defense, which was 14th nationally by allowing just 115 yards per game. ISU has seven starters back on defense this year, including five in the front seven. JaQuan Bailey is back after leading the team with 7 sacks in 2018. Greg Eisworth is also back after leading the team with 84 tackles last year. He will hold down the secondary at safety.
Iowa State has three home non-conference games this year, facing UL Monroe, Northern Iowa and Iowa. In Big 12 play, the Cyclones will host TCU, Oklahoma State, Texas and Kansas. Road games will be against Baylor, West Virginia, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Kansas State.
Iowa State is a team we like to overlook because the program doesn’t have a lot of history of success. However, Campbell has been able to establish a foundation the last two years. This year is the big test. Can Iowa State take the next step and be a legit championship contender in the Big 12, or will it just be an average team? With 15 starters back, this is the year Iowa State has to strike. Four of their five losses last year were by 10 points or less and I think that could be a good learning experience for this season. With a veteran line, a veteran QB and a veteran defense, I like Iowa State to turn a few of those losses into wins.
College Football Prediction: Iowa State Over 8 Wins +120