Hawkeyes, Cyclones resume unpredictable rivalry

Published on NewsOK Modified: September 14, 2013 at 2:30 am •  Published: September 14, 2013

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa has won at Iowa State just once since 2003, even though the Hawkeyes have been favored each time.

Iowa is the favorite again in Saturday's in-state showdown after Iowa State played poorly in its season-opening loss to Northern Iowa. That means very little, especially when the series is played in Ames, as it will be this season.

Iowa was ranked No. 8 when the unranked Cyclones won 23-3 in 2005. Six years ago, Iowa State followed up an ugly home loss to Northern Iowa with five field goals and a 15-13 victory.

Iowa's 35-3 thrashing of the Cyclones in Ames in 2009 was surprisingly lopsided. Iowa State won 44-41 in triple overtime two years ago behind a performance from quarterback Steele Jantz that no one expected and never saw again.

The Cyclones (0-1) are again coming off a loss to the FCS Panthers. Iowa (1-1) hasn't looked like anything special, either. If the last decade is any indication, Saturday's game could end up being another entertaining, mistake-filled spectacle between two rivals desperate for a win ahead of conference play.

"It will be a tough ball game like always. Anytime I think we get together, it's usually a pretty good game. I expect them to be ready to go, and they're an aggressive ballclub," said Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, who is just 6-8 against Iowa State.

Here are five things to look out for when Iowa and Iowa State meet for the 61st time:

1. STOPPING WEISMAN: Iowa State's defense was gashed by Northern Iowa running back David Johnson for 199 yards and four total touchdowns in a 28-20 loss. The Hawkeyes have a better offensive line than the Panthers, and Mark Weisman is ranked ninth nationally with 280 yards rushing through just two games. If the Cyclones can't contain the physical Weisman, expect the Hawkeyes to call his number all evening.

"He's a dang good football player," Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said.

2. RICHARDSON WATCH: Cyclones sophomore quarterback Sam Richardson sprained his ankle in the loss to Northern Iowa, but Rhoads and his staff have insisted that he'll be fine by Saturday. Still, Richardson is by far the most important player the Cyclones have, and they'll be in trouble if he's limited in any way. Richardson threw for 242 yards and two TDs and also led Iowa State with 74 yards rushing in the opener.