Iowa State and Kansas State will renew their “Farmageddon” rivalry Saturday in Manhattan, Kan., with both sides feeling refreshed following a Saturday without a game.
The Cyclones (3-2, 1-1 Big 12) will take on a Kansas State squad that has a renewed optimism after starting quarterback Skylar Thompson surprised everyone by starting the Wildcats’ game against Oklahoma Oct. 2.
K-State coach Chris Klieman said Thompson didn’t show much rust in the Oklahoma game, after missing most of the last three games with a right knee injury, and he used the bye week for some fine-tuning.
“We worked some of those guys who were nicked up, like Skylar, to get some of their timing back,” Klieman said Monday. “We worked some of our younger players, pushing those guys along. We’re going to need some guys who are freshmen or redshirt freshmen that haven’t played yet.
“The guys who have played a bunch of snaps have to get their minds and their bodies fresh too. We gave them a little bit of time off. Overall, our guys are going to come back pretty fresh.”
Klieman had said all week leading up to the Oklahoma game that it was unlikely that Thompson would see action against the Sooners, even though his recovery was progressing well. But as the starting offense trotted onto the field at the beginning of the game, Thompson went with his teammates.
All Thompson did was complete 29 of 41 passes for 320 yards and three touchdowns in a 37-31 loss to the Sooners.
Thompson’s biggest weapon likely will continue to be running back Deuce Vaughn. After being stymied the previous week against Oklahoma State, Vaughn was the team’s leading rusher and receiver, both in receptions and yards, against OU.
Through five games, he’s averaging just under 90 yards rushing per game. He’s first in receptions and second in yards per game receiving.
The Wildcats (3-2, 0-2) should get tight end Daniel Imatorbhebhe back. Imatorbhebhe has only four catches this season, but his 68-yard touchdown reception against Nevada was K-State’s longest play of the season.
Iowa State coach Matt Campbell took a slightly different approach to the bye week, though rest was a big part.
“I don’t really think (we’ll see) much different,” he said. “I think our goal going into the bye week was to continue to do what we’ve done during the first five weeks. That’s to just get better each day. I thought we had some really good practices throughout the week.”
The Cyclones’ offense revolves around quarterback Brock Purdy. He’s completing better than 70 percent of his passes for 226.6 yards per game. His favorite receiver, in catches and yards, is Xavier Hutchinson. Running back Breece Hall leads the Cyclones with 110.2 rushing yards per game.
The two teams have split the last four meetings, with each team winning two home games. Prior to that, K-State had won 10 straight games in the series. The Wildcats have won 15 of the last 16 games in Manhattan. That leaves the all-time series at 51-49-4 in favor of Iowa State.
— Field Level Media