10. I'll have the Hubris Special with extra gall, please. "It comes with being a Hawkeye football player," said Clayborn. "We're the only team in the state as far as I know. It comes with being us, I guess." Within minutes of that innocuous utterance the Cyclone locker room was redecorated with wallpaper from the Adrian Clayborn Who Are You? Collection. What was previously the dutiful "other" state University is now an assemblage of highly focused fanatical hate. On Saturday expect Clayborn's postgame meal to consist of Odor Eaters, tube socks and some mouth-watering tenia pedis.
9. Oh well, whatever, nevermind. It seems that Kirk Ferentz may just be the Kurt Cobain of coaching, at least where Iowa State is concerned. His apathy toward this cross-state rivalry is well documented. But no one needs to read Ferentz quotes to gage his indifference toward the contest, just look at his record: 5 wins, 6 losses. After Saturday make that 7 losses as Ferentz realizes what Paul Rhoads already knows, that this isn't just another game.
8. He can run, but he can't hide. Joe Louis was right. Micah Hyde, who spent most of last Saturday getting his bagel toasted, is going to have to make a quantum leap this week in practice if Iowa is to have any chance. Odds are that Shaun Prater will not play Saturday due to a sore hammy, so Norm Parker will not be able play hide the
pickle rookie corner. This Saturday expect Iowa State to stalk Hyde just as The Brown Bomber did Billy Conn in 1941. And for the youngsters out there, Louis battered Conn for 13 rounds before mercifully knocking him into oblivion.
7. Man Vs. Wild. Iowa State's Alexander Robinson is a veteran running back in his fourth year and already has one 1,000+-yard season under his belt. Comparing him to his similarly sized Hawkeye counterpart Adam Robinson is kind of like comparing Bear Grylls to that Canadian guy who hosts Survivorman. Sure they're both attempting to survive amid horrible conditions but one is a seasoned expert who always overcomes the most dire situations, whereas the other is a chubby hobbyist who too often is playing his harmonica while waiting for help to arrive. Expect Alexander to emerge unscathed with 150 yards rushing and a win while Adam calls for the chopper to airlift him out of a Hawkeye natural disaster.
6. Paul Rhodes is proud...er. Perhaps you have seen the YouTube speech delivered by Cyclone coach Paul Rhoads where he tells his team he could not be prouder of their upset victory over a heavily favored Nebraska team. That speech will be a eulogy compared to what he's gonna deliver to them in a pink locker room on Saturday. Unless and until Kirk Ferentz can master the Kleenex moment, the Hawkeyes have no chance.
5. Odds and End. Much has been made of the fact that Iowa State has not scored a touchdown against Iowa since 2006. That's 14 quarters and counting, and from the standpoint of probability that's pretty astounding and certainly due to change. When you consider that over the past four years Iowa has had some pretty dominant defenses, however this year....nevermind.
4. Roll Cage. On what seemed like his 8th or 9th naked bootleg pass attempt against Eastern Illinois Ricky Stanzi almost shredded his knee ligaments thanks to an awkward effort to plant his foot while rolling out. It was but a mere two starts earlier that Stanzi suffered season ending ligament damage to his ankle at the conclusion of, you guessed it, a naked bootleg. Hawkeye fans are beginning to question the wisdom of the bootleg, but it's a staple of Iowa's offense. Expect the Cyclones to be laying in wait for an opportunity to undress the Iowa quarterback and send him to the sidelines permanently should he roll out of the pocket without protection again on Saturday.
3. A Good Read. It is a play that makes overzealous defenses squirm: the zone read. The bread-and-butter of the Iowa State rushing attack, the zone read has made even the best defenses look confused. Austen Arnaud has become so adept at the play his ball fakes have been studied by David Copperfield. Expect Arnaud to make the ball reappear in the end zone repeatedly while Iowa's defensive players frantically search their pockets for their personal effects.
2. The Luck of the Elliott. Bob Elliott has been on the losing side of the Iowa - Iowa State matchup one time, which is only to be expected given the back and forth nature of the rivalry in recent years. But it becomes ever so stunning when you learn that he's been on the winning side 14 times. Son of former Iowa Athletic Director Bump Elliott, Bob has seen this rivalry from both ends of the state having coached at both schools. It seems whoever is writing his checks are the inevitable winner. Expect the Cyclones to cash in on Saturday thanks to their human amulet.
1. Tyler Sash. Need I Say More?