Toledo (4-2) at Iowa State (1-4) (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Jack Trice Stadium (55,000) — Ames, Iowa. Television:
Mediacom Cable. Home Record: Toledo 3-1, Iowa State 0-3. Away Record: Toledo
1-1, Iowa State 1-1. Neutral Record: Toledo 0-0, Iowa State 0-0. Conference
Record: Toledo 3-0, Iowa State 0-3. Series Record: Series ties, 1-1.

GAME NOTES: The Iowa State Cyclones have had a rough start to the 2014 season,
but they’ll try to turn things around when they host the Toledo Rockets in a
non-conference clash at Jack Trice Stadium on Saturday.

Toledo has won three games in a row, including last weekend’s overtime
thriller against Western Michigan, 20-19. The Rockets escaped with a win after
Western Michigan kicker Andrew Haldeman missed an extra point try to tie the
game up in the overtime period.

Iowa State started the season with a crushing 34-14 defeat at the hands of
three-time defending FCS national champion North Dakota State, and has only
won one game this season to date (a 20-17 squeaker against intrastate rival
Iowa). The Cyclones have dropped two in a row since then.

The all-time series between these two programs is knotted up at 1-1. They met
for the first time back in the 2006 season, and again in 2007, with the teams
splitting the matchups.

Western Michigan jumped ahead of Toledo early on in last Saturday’s clash, but
the Rockets made sure they mounted a comeback to tie things at the end of
regulation. From there, Toledo quarterback Logan Woodside connected with
Alonzo Russell on a 22-yard scoring pass to give his team the advantage, and
ultimately the deciding score. Woodside, who is 3-1 as a starter filling in
for the injured Phillip Ely, had 210 passing yards with a touchdown and an

In five games played, Woodside has thrown for 1,075 yards and seven
touchdowns against three interceptions, and has added three more rushing
scores. His 142.4 quarterback efficiency rating ranks 44th in the country,
which is helped by a handful of strong receivers. Corey Jones leads the team
with 36 receptions, while Russell has tallied team highs in yards (474) and
touchdowns (six). The Rockets are averaging 34.7 ppg and 516 total ypg.

Even without Kareem Hunt, Toledo is an exceptionally dangerous team running
the football, which is averaging 242.7 ypg on the ground. Terry Swanson took
the reins this last weekend and gained 172 yards with a touchdown on 19
carries. He’s second on the team with 365 yards, behind Hunt’s 527 yards and
seven touchdowns.

Like a lot of teams, Toledo has had plenty of success on the offensive side of
the ball, but the defense is playing catch up. Which is unusual, considering
the Rockets had one of the better on-paper defensive units in the conference
entering the season. The team is allowing 32.8 ppg, 441.3 offensive ypg and a
51 percent third-down conversion rate to opponents.

Linebacker Junior Sylvestre leads the team with 56 tackles, and has been
somewhat of a menace to opposing quarterbacks with four pass breakups and
three quarterback hurries. His fellow linebacker Trent Voss has a team-high
6.5 tackles for loss and four sacks with four quarterback hurries, and
cornerback Jordan Haden leads the team with two interceptions. They’ll all
need to be on point against a Big 12 Conference opponent.

It’s not that Iowa State’s offense was particularly bad in the team’s 37-20
loss to Oklahoma State last Saturday, it was just that the Cyclones, who are
averaging 22 ppg this season, simply couldn’t keep up. Sam B. Richardson threw
for 220 yards and two touchdowns in the loss, connecting with E.J. Bibbs on
both of his scoring completions. The Cyclones are averaging 206.4 passing ypg
this season, and Richardson has accumulated 1,003 yards and seven scores
through five games.

The quarterback also has a rushing touchdown to his name this year, as
Richardson leads the unit with 252 yards on the ground on 58 carries. Aaron
Wimberly has a team-high three touchdowns, but only averages 3.1 ypc. The Iowa
State offense is averaging a pedestrian 110.6 rushing ypg in 2014.

The Cyclones have allowed at least 32 points in all four of the team’s losses,
and have only managed to score a maximum of 28 points twice – both in home

The team’s defense wasn’t awful against Oklahoma State last weekend, allowing
400 total offensive yards and 25 first downs to the Cowboys while registering
two interceptions. But in five games played, the Cyclones have been bullied by
opposing running games for 18 ground touchdowns and an average of 207.2
rushing ypg. The Cowboys, who got two touchdowns from Desmond Roland, were
still no exception.

Defensive end Cory Morrissey has just 19 tackles in five games, but has been a
beast in opposing backfields. The senior has registered 5.5 tackles for loss
and a team-high four sacks – nearly half of the team’s 10 total this season.
Jevohn Miller is the team’s leading tackler with 55 on the year, and T.J.
Mutcherson has an Iowa State-high two interceptions. He and Morrissey will
need to work in unison to force Woodside to make poor decisions with the ball
for Iowa State to win.

Three of Iowa State’s losses have come against nationally ranked opponents,
and the other – against North Dakota State – was to the most dominant team at
the FCS level over the past three seasons. Toledo may have a high-powered
offense charged by the running game, but playing at the home of a Big 12
opponent that is hungry for a turnaround may put an end to the Rockets’
winning streak.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Iowa State 28, Toledo 26