Emotions in the Iowa-Iowa State rivalry are at an all-time high this year, or so it seems.
Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads explained to the Waterloo Courier that the team that wins this weekend likely will be the one that can use the emotions to their advantage.
"You've got to work hard to keep your team grounded," Rhoads told the Courier. "That would be the No. 1 thing I took away from last year's game. You've got to go into this - especially on the road - and keep your team grounded and focused on execution."
Taking a closer look at Iowa State, it becomes clear that the team is much better than last year.
“They have had some excellent football teams," Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said of the Cyclones in his weekly press conference. “I think they have an excellent football team this year, so we are going to have to be at our best.”
As the game nears, there are a few things Hawkeye fans need to know about their upcoming opponent.
Location: Ames, Iowa
Conference: Big 12 (for now)
Undergrad Enrollment: ~23,000
Colors: Cardinal and Gold
Head Coach: Paul Rhoads
Preseason Rank: --
The Cyclones posted a 7–6 record last year, including a 14-13 win at the 2009 Insight Bowl over the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
This year’s game will be played in Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, September 11, 2010. According to the fun-facts listed on Iowa’s two-deep depth chart, the Hawkeyes have a 22-12 record against the Cyclones in Iowa City.
The rivalry between the University of Iowa and Iowa State University has thrived since 1894. It is one of the biggest rivalries in college football that no one knows about.
“I don’t think everyone from out of state fully comprehends what this rivalry means," running back Alexander Robinson explained to ESPN’s David Ubben.
While the Cy-Hawk rivalry extends beyond the pigskin, this weekend’s match-up marks the 58th time that the two schools have faced each other on the football field.
Iowa has won five of the last seven games between the two teams, but Iowa State has won seven of the last 12.
In 1977, the rivalry took on the Cy-Hawk name. The Cy-Hawk Trophy currently resides in Iowa City as a result of Iowa's 35-3 victory in Ames last season.
Some schools understand the usage of social media; some schools don't.
The Cyclones are a team that gets social media, and use online networks to their advantage.
Iowa State Athletics
Iowa State Football
Paul Rhoads is the head coach for the Iowa State Cyclones football team.
Rhoads, the Nevada, Iowa native, filled the vacancy left by the current Auburn head coach Gene Chizik.
Chizik wasn't at Iowa State long before he left for greener pastures at Auburn, a move that left even Hawkeye fans calling him one of the world's smarmiest people.
Cyclone and Hawkeye fans agree on few things, but one of those things might be that Rhoads is a way better fit for ISU than Chizik. He proved that to the nation after Iowa state pulled off the upset in Lincoln last year, when he was recorded on video telling his team just how proud of them he was.
While Rhoads was a linebackers coach under former head coach Dan McCarnery, this year's Iowa-Iowa State game marks the first time Rhoads has traveled to Iowa City as head coach.
According to CBS Sports, Iowa State has lost 36 straight road games against ranked opponents, dating back to 1990.
Unfortunately for the Cyclones, Nebraska was not rated when ISU upset the Cornhuskers in Lincoln last year.
Iowa holds a 22-10 advantage since the series resumed on in 1977.
According to Sports Illustrated, Iowa State is No. 2 in passing effeciency defense, and No. 31 in total defense. ISU Linebacker Jake Knott is tied for the national lead in interceptions, with two.
Iowa is favored by 13.5 points over Iowa State this year.
The Cyclones haven't scored a touchdown against the Hawkeyes since 2006.
That means that Iowa State’s offense has not scored a touchdown against an Iowa defense in 14 straight quarters. In three-and-a-half games, the Cyclones have only mustered eight field goals and a safety.
Thank you, Norm Parker.
Iowa State lost to Iowa badly last season.
The Cyclones turned the ball over seven times (five interceptions, two fumbles) during Iowa's 35-3 win in Ames.
To make matters worse, Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn inadvertently added fuel to the Cyclone revenge fire over the summer. At an Iowa mini-media day, Clayborn answered questions about expectations for the upcoming season.
In his response, Clayborn mentioned that the Hawkeyes were “the only team in the state” as far as he knew. Apparently, that agitated one of the Cyclone seniors.
“It upset me,” defensive end Rashawn Parker responded when asked. “It’s like a slap in the face...as you could expect.”
The Cyclones rushed for 190 yards last year against the Hawkeyes.
Running back Alexander Robinson gained 100 yards on 19 carries against Iowa. According to the Mason City Globe Gazette, the Cyclones were 5-1 last year when Robinson rushed for 100 yards or more.
It helps when that Robinson has a 6-foot-5, 335-pound junior named Kelechi Osemele blocking for him.
In ISU’s opening game, Robinson ran for 97 yards and two touchdowns. His 63-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter turned a few heads around the country.
Iowa State quarterback Austen Arnaud passed for 79 yards and four interceptions in last year’s loss to Iowa.
He also threw two interceptions in the Cyclones’ 2008 loss to the Hawkeyes.
"I played terrible," Arnaud explained to reporters. "It's something that I hope to not do again going into this year, but I can't think about it, let it hang over my head."
Arnaud is hungry for a chance to improve his performance. The senior leader for the Cyclones seems focused and eager to play.