Iowa State vs. San Jose State Prediction, Game Preview

    Iowa State vs. San Jose State prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the game between the Cyclones and Spartans.

    September 23, 2016

    Iowa State vs. San Jose State prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the game between the Cyclones and Spartans.

    Iowa State vs. San Jose State Game Preview

    When: Saturday, September 24 – 12:00 p.m. ET

    Jack Trice Stadium, Ames, Iowa


    It’s been a rocky start to the Matt Campbell era in Ames, which has produced three losses – the last two being road blowouts at rival Iowa and TCU. Still, no one expected an overnight turnaround, considering the inherited personnel and recent trend at Iowa State. The Cyclones are taking one game at a time, beginning with this week’s opportunity to hand Campbell his first win at the school. San Jose State has one more tune-up before Mountain West play begins on Oct. 1. With a rare chance to host a Power Five team, the Spartans hung around with Utah for a half last week before fading in a 34-17 defeat.

    What To Know About Iowa State

    Joel Lanning or Jacob Park? Campbell isn’t comfortable with either of his erratic quarterbacks, which is hampering the offense, including talented running back Mike Warren and wideout Allen Lazard. Iowa State is pining for one of the quarterbacks to put an end to the controversy, because it won’t win many games with defense. The Cyclones are being trucked on the ground, and the team has yet to pick off a pass. Plus, no one is regularly pressuring the pocket.

    What to Know About San Jose State

    The Spartans have so far been unable to build off the momentum of winning a 2015 bowl game. The Utah loss was expected, but falling by five touchdowns to Tulsa in the opener was not. However, the schedule sets up for the possibility to catch a tailwind, with New Mexico, Hawaii and Nevada following this week’s trip to Ames. For San Jose State to begin turning things around, it must do a better job of protecting the ball—and the pocket after allowing 10 sacks to the Utes.


    Offense: Iowa State. Warren and Lazard give the edge to the Cyclones in a game likely to feature sporadic play from the quarterbacks.

    Defense: Iowa State. Thanks to vets like nose guard Demond Tucker and cornerback Brian Peavy, the Cyclones have the better defense – something that won’t be said often in 2016.

    Special Teams: San Jose State. Punter Michael Carrizosa is a special teams weapon who’ll hang the ball high in the air and pin the Cyclones deep in their own territory.

    Coaching: Iowa State. Campbell is one of the young up-and-comers in the coaching ranks, even if it’s not reflected in his ISU start.

    Intangibles: Iowa State. The Cyclones want that first win for Campbell. And they recognize this will be their best opportunity until the Nov. 12 trip to Lawrence to give it to him.

    Matchup To Watch

    San Jose State TE Billy Freeman vs. Iowa State S Kamari Cotton-Moya

    Freeman is a rare difference-maker on the Spartan offense for quarterback Kenny Potter. He caught six touchdown passes a season ago, but has only one through the first three games. San Jose State wants to take Cotton-Moya and the linebackers off the ball to help create more space for RB Deontae Cooper, a Washington transfer.

    Iowa State vs. San Jose State Betting Odds

    Spread: Iowa State -6.5


    Iowa State vs. San Jose State Prediction

    The Cyclones understand the importance of this week’s game, and will react accordingly. It’s sort of a must-win to salvage something positive in the opening month. Warren and Lazard will look like Warren and Lazard again, each scoring a touchdown. Meanwhile, the Iowa State defense will attack a beleaguered San Jose State offensive line that’s not adapting effectively without injured left tackle Nate Velichko.

    Iowa State vs. San Jose State Score Prediction: Iowa State 33, San Jose State 23

    MORE: 1-128 College Football Rankings – Week 4


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