Iowa State's Lanning: Cy-Hawk rivalry worse among fans than players
AMES, Ia. — Take it from Iowa State quarterback Joel Lanning: Saturday’s Cy-Hawk game is important, but to the players, it’s not exactly the end of the world.
“The rivalry is worse between the fans than it is the two teams,” the former Ankeny star said. “The two fan bases don’t get along at all. It’s fun to be a part of.”
It’s his first Iowa State-Iowa game as starter. It’ll be Matt Campbell’s biggest rivalry game as a head coach.
“I’ve been a part of a rivalry where we’re 20-something miles away, Toledo and Bowling Green ... within the state of Ohio,” said Campbell, previously the head coach at Toledo. “I think the key is you have to stay within yourself. It’s like every other football game, where the team that takes care of the football, the team that manages throughout the football game, is the team that’s going to have success.
“I think our kids know that, and unfortunately, we had to learn a really valuable lesson again in that last Saturday — but it’s a lesson that’s really valuable for us going forward.”
His weekly press conference Monday wasn’t the first time Campbell was asked about the game, which starts at 6:30 p.m.
“It didn’t take me really long in the first press conference where that question was asked. Maybe the third or fourth question,” he said, referring to his initial gathering with reporters last November.
“It’s really special to be a part of something like (the Cy-Hawk game). Do you talk about that with your kids?
“You absolutely do, because I think you’re at fault if you don’t. It’s something we’ve talked about really from the day I’ve gotten here through spring practice and obviously as we get into preparation for this game.
“You certainly talk about those things. I’ve got a great deal of respect for their program and what they’ve done, but also know this is a great rivalry game and something we’re lucky to be a part of.”
Depth chart chatter
Looking for a depth chart makeover after Saturday’s loss against Northern Iowa?
The starters listed last week are the same starters listed this week, and that includes right tackle Julian Good-Jones.
The redshirt freshman was suspended one game after violating a team rule; nonetheless, he was on the pre-game depth chart as a starter last week.
Bryce Meeker took his spot, but now Meeker has moved back to where he started: as a second-team left guard.
“One of the nice things is we’ll be able to get Julian Good-Jones back,” Campbell said Monday. “That was a situation that had been handled quietly, honestly, last spring and nobody had asked, so I really didn’t divulge that information he wouldn’t play last week.
“Julian’s had a good spring, and certainly a good summer. Julian coming back will help that offensive line a little bit.”
By the book?
According to Las Vegas oddsmakers, Iowa is the biggest Cy-Hawk football favorite since 2007.
The line opened Sunday with Iowa State listed as an 18-point underdog, although it was between 15 and 16 points on Monday.
So what are the odds of the favorite actually winning this game?
Iowa State has been a Cy-Hawk underdog 16 times since 1998. The Cyclones won eight of those games. Iowa State was a 17 ½-point underdog in 2007 and won.
“We made our bed a little last Saturday in terms of whatever the betting line is, or whatever everybody’s belief is,” Campbell said. “That’s where our focus has to go — back on us.
“The reality of it is we’ve got a lot of work to do, we know that. And we put our focus toward us.”
The road opponent has won the past four games in this series. The last time the home team won was Iowa State's 44-41, three-overtime triumph.
Payne is back
Expect starting linebacker/defensive back D’Andre Payne to play Saturday after missing the Northern Iowa game because of a knee injury.
“D’Andre — he was kind of 50-50 for that game,” Campbell said. “It was going through warm-ups, let’s see where he’s at. He really didn’t practice until later on in the week last week.
“It just wasn’t fair for that young man to play in the football game. So, he’ll be ready to go."
Yes, the Cyclones have tight ends
In case you were wondering, Ben Boesen was the last Iowa State tight end to catch a pass, and that was a long time ago.
It happened on Nov. 7, 2015, at Oklahoma. What followed after Boesen caught Lanning’s fourth passing attempt?
A total of 86 consecutive completed passes, including 18 against Northern Iowa last Saturday, that went to players other than tight ends.
“The one nice thing all three of them do have is the ability to catch the football,” Campbell said of Justin Chandler, Sam Harms and Chase Allen.
“The situation maybe didn’t dictate that the ball went to them throughout the game Saturday, but I think you’ll see them with the ball in their hands throughout the rest of the year.
“Justin is a guy who can catch and make some plays in space, Chase Allen has got some ability to do that and Sam Harms even is a guy who can make some things happen in space.”
Iowa State tight ends combined for just six receptions last season.