College Football
Preview
Akron at Iowa State
When: 12:00 PM ET, Saturday, September 22, 2018
Where: Jack Trice Stadium, Ames, Iowa

The optimism that was building among the Iowa State faithful following its most successful season since 2000 has stalled thanks to a pair of 10-point losses to undefeated teams. The Cyclones hope to get in the win column before jumping back into Big 12 play Saturday when they host Akron.

Iowa State overcame a 2-2 start in 2017 to finish with eight victories and a victory in the Liberty Bowl, but its season opener against FCS foe South Dakota State was canceled, leaving the team in a precarious spot for a couple of rivalry games against Iowa (13-3 loss) and Oklahoma (37-27 loss). The Cyclones also haven't had the benefit of relying on quarterback Kyle Kempt (knee) either, as the sixth-year senior was forced from the loss to the Hawkeyes in the second half and did not play against the Sooners. The Zips' season opener against Nebraska was also canceled due to weather, but they moved to 2-0 for the first time since 1993 after rallying from a 21-3 halftime deficit to stun Northwestern on the road 39-34 last weekend. Akron overcame 15 penalties in the upset by forcing three turnovers, returning each miscue for a touchdown over the final 18-plus minutes of the contest.

TV: Noon ET, FSN. LINE: Iowa State -18.5

ABOUT AKRON (2-0): Sophomore quarterback Kato Nelson (33-of-54 for 509 yards and five TDs) has thrown for 13 touchdowns versus three interceptions through his first seven career starts and ranks 13th in FBS in passing yards per completion (15.4) this season. He has spread the wealth over the first two games, as Kwadarrius Smith, Jonah Morris and Andre Williams all have seven catches for at least 100 yards. Van Edwards Jr. paces the team with 162 yards rushing and two scores. Junior cornerback Alvin Davis is tied for the FBS lead with three interceptions and was named the Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Week after returning two interceptions (97 and 50 yards) for touchdowns in last weekend's upset.

ABOUT IOWA STATE (0-2): Kempt has already been ruled out this week, paving the way for Zeb Noland to make another start after becoming the third Cyclone quarterback over the past two seasons to throw for more than 300 yards after passing for a career-high 360 yards and two TDs against the Sooners. Hakeem Butler was the beneficiary of both of those scoring tosses (51 and 57 yards) en route to 174 yards receiving - the 10th-highest single-game total in school history. The 6-6 junior has scored 11 career touchdowns - six of which have covered more than 50 yards - while his 26.1 yards per catch average this season ranks fourth nationally.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Iowa State is 25-5 all-time against Mid-American Conference foes, including last season's 41-14 victory over Akron in the first meeting between the schools.

2. The Zips are 10th in FBS in rush defense (81 yards per game), holding opponents to 2.1 yards per carry (sixth best in FBS).

3. All four of Noland's career TD passes have covered at least 35 yards.

PREDICTION: Iowa State 27, Akron 20
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Akron 2-0 W2 40.0 20.5 1-0 1-0 1-0 0-0 0-0
Iowa State 0-2 L2 15.0 25.0 0-1 0-1 0-1 0-0 0-1
Last Meeting
Akron Iowa State
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
9/16/17 ISU 41 AKR 14 331 38 293 508 191 317
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Akron T. Woodson 62.5 240 2 1
Iowa State J. Park 72.7 317 2 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Akron W. Ball 11 40 3.6 0
Iowa State D. Montgomery 22 127 5.8 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Akron K. Smith 3 76 25.3 1
Iowa State T. Ryen 6 80 13.3 0
Touchdowns Player TD
Akron W. Ball 1
Iowa State A. Lazard 1
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Akron K. Nelson 61.1 509 5 1
Iowa State Z. Noland 63.0 403 2 1
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Akron V. Edwards Jr. 31 162 5.2 2
Iowa State D. Montgomery 38 126 3.3 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Akron J. Morris 7 145 20.7 1
Iowa State H. Butler 8 209 26.1 2
Touchdowns Player TD
Akron A. Davis 2
Iowa State H. Butler 2
Quickchart Matchup
Akron Akron Off vs  Iowa State Iowa State Def
Akron 402 yards
Iowa State 395 yards
Akron 3.9 yards/rush
Iowa State 3.7 yards/rush
Akron 8.7 yards/attempt
Iowa State 9 yards/attempt
Iowa State Iowa State Off vs  Akron Akron Def
Iowa State 317.5 yards
Akron 341.5 yards
Iowa State 2 yards/rush
Akron 2.6 yards/rush
Iowa State 7.9 yards/attempt
Akron 6 yards/attempt