CSJ’s 2018 Week 1 Game Preview: South Dakota State at Iowa State

 (Photo by Dave Eggen/Inertia)

South Dakota State at Iowa State
When: Saturday, September 1st, 7:00 PM CDT
Where: Jack Trice Stadium, Ames, IA
TV/Streaming Coverage:  Cyclones.TV/ Cyclones.TV

South Dakota State: CSJ’s 2018 Preview Capsule

SDSU did not play an FBS opponent last year, in what was a record-setting, 11-win season, and now the Jacks are attempting to move forward from that season after graduating one of the most decorated senior classes in program history.

SDSU’s last two FBS opponents were both from the Big 12, and the Jacks were impressive in both. They picked up their first-ever FBS win when they beat Kansas 41-38 in 2015 and went nearly even with TCU in 2016 until the fourth quarter in an eventual 59-41 loss.

Key Player: QB Taryn Christion will now be counted on to handle more of the offense without his two star receivers.  He posted his second consecutive season with 4,000 yards of total offense in 2017, passing for 3,515 yards and gaining another 500 yards on the ground.  He accounted for 44 total touchdowns by passing for a school-record 35 touchdowns and scoring nine more times on the ground.

Fantasy Bonus Baby: WR/KR  Cade Johnson led the Jackrabbit contingent on the second team by being honored as both a wide receiver and return specialist. Johnson ranked third on the squad last season with 23 receptions, tallying 318 yards and three touchdowns. He also set an Jackrabbit single-season record for kickoff return yardage with 839 yards, averaging 28 yards on 30 attempts, and became the first SDSU player in more than 50 years to return two kickoffs for touchdowns in the same season.  He may be the new go-to receiver for SDSU.

Iowa State: CSJ’s 2018 Preview Capsule

Iowa State finished the 2017 campaign with an 8-5 overall record, culminating with an AutoZone Liberty Bowl victory over Memphis. The Cyclones, who received votes in the preseason Associated Press poll, posted a 5-4 mark in the Big 12 Conference, including wins over nationally ranked Oklahoma and TCU.

The Cyclones last lost to an FCS opponent two years ago to Northern Iowa.

Key Player: QB Kyle Kempt took over the starting spot after the fifth game last year including the wins over Oklahoma and TCU.  He finished the season with 1,787 yards passing and 15 touchdowns with just three interceptions.  The now-senior will look to have a full season this year and despite missing Lazard, should have a good group around him on offense.

Fantasy Bonus Baby: Hakeem Butler ad a breakout sophomore season a season ago, ranking second on the team in receiving yards (697) and tying for third in receptions (41).  He caught seven touchdown passes, tying for ninth on Iowa State’s season list and ranked 47th nationally in yards per reception (17.0).  Look for him to be the Cyclones big play receiver in this game.

Fearless Prediction:  This game may start out a bit slow for the Cyclones, and SDSU could even grab an early lead, but there is too much talent on Iowa State and too much firepower to give the Jackrabbits a chance without a number of turnovers and penalties.  Iowa State 38, South Dakota State 24

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