The College Football bowl season continues on Saturday, December 28th and we will see the Iowa State Cyclones battle it out with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the Camping World Bowl. This contest has a start time of 12:00 pm ET and will take place at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida. The Cyclones enter this game at 7-5 on the year while the Irish come in at 10-2.
The Defense Struggeld Down The StretchThe Iowa State Cyclones went 7-5 on the year overall and they will be playing in their 3rd bowl game in a row. The Cyclones have not been great in bowl games in their history as they have gone just 4-10 in those games. They hope to pull a nice upset over a solid Notre Dame team in this one. They will need to play better than they did down the stretch of the regular season and they need to get their defense back on track as well.
Iowa State began their season at 5-2 through their first seven games and they allowed just 21.3 ppg in those games. The rest of the regular season was not so kind for them as the Cyclones went just 2-3 down the stretch and they allowed 31.0 ppg in those games. The defense will need to play better than that if the Cyclones hope to upset the Irish. The Irish have a balanced offense that is 46th in rushing and 48th in passing, so they can be tough to stop.
The offense for the Cyclones has been solid, especially their passing game which ranks 9th in the nation. Brock Purdy has thrown for 3760 yards with 27 TDs and nine INTs on the year. This will be a huge test for Purdy as a lot of his numbers were put up against Big 12 defenses, which are not very good and he will now be facing the 3rd best pass defense in the nation. The Irish have a strong secondary but the Cyclones have four receivers with 622 yards or more receiving on the year. Deshaunte Jones leads the team with 72 catches for 832 yards. Breece Hall leads the team in rushing with 842 yards and nine TDs. If he can have a good game then that would help Purdy against that tough ND secondary.
Seasonal Stats & Rankings: Iowa State comes in ranked 20th in the nation in total offense at 459.0 ypg, 9th in passing at 318.3 ypg, 96th in rushing at 140.7 ypg and 26th in scoring, putting up 34.1 ppg. On the defensive side of the ball, the Cyclones are ranked 44th in total yards allowed at 362.2 ypg, 67th against the pass at 226.8 ypg, 35th against the run at 135.3 ypg, and 52nd in points allowed, giving up just 25.3 ppg.
The Irish Have Plenty Of MomentumThe Notre Dame Irish had a strong team coming into the year and despite having a close loss to Georgia early in the season, they were still in contention for a spot in the NCAA playoffs. Those hopes were dashed on a fateful day in late October when the Irish were crushed at Michigan by a score of 45-10. Notre Dame then went on to win their last four games in a for and they outscored their last four foes by an average of 29.3 ppg. The Irish pare on a roll and they enter this game with plenty of momentum.
The offense had been very mediocre for much of the year but Notre Dame poured it on down the stretch as they averaged 43.8 ppg over their last four games. Now they will take a shot at an Iowa State defense that has allowed 31 ppg over their final five games of the year. Ian Book hit just 59.3% of his passes this year by he threw for 2792 yards with 33 TDs and just six INTs. Book has averaged 259.3 ypg through the air with 12 TDs and no INTs over his last three games. It will be interesting to see if the loss of offensive coordinator, Chip Long, will hurt Book and the passing game. Chase Claypool has been his favorite target with 59 catches for 891 yards and 12 TDs. This passing game will take on an Iowa State defense that is 67th against the pass. With Long gone, quarterbacks coach Tom Rees will call plays during the Camping World Bowl according to Brian Kelly.
At the beginning of the year, I stated that the Irish had a secondary that was ranked 8th in the nation by Phil Steele. That secondary did not disappoint this year as the Irish come in with the 3rd ranked pass defense in the nation. The Irish pass defense will have a tough test in this one as the Cyclones have the 9th ranked passing game in the nation. They have four receivers that have at least 622 yards and the Irish secondary will need to have a big game in this one. The Cyclones would love to get their ground game going against a Notre team that is 71st against the run as it would open up throwing lanes for Purdy. This will be a good battle.
Seasonal Stats & Rankings: The Irish come in ranked 45th in the nation in total offense at 431.3 ypg, 48th in passing at 253.0 ypg, 46th in rushing at 178.3 ypg and 13th in scoring, putting up 37.3 ppg. On the defensive side of the ball, the Irish are ranked 21st in total yards allowed at 325.6 ypg, 3rd against the pass at 163.7 ypg, 71st against the run at 161.9 ypg, and 14th in points allowed, giving up just 18.7 ppg.
Trends Are Courtesy Of Covers.com Iowa State is:
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games as an underdog
- 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games in December
Notre Dame is:
- 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following an ATS win
- 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games as a favorite