What's at stake
Kansas' momentum heading into conference play and a scary road game next week at Colorado. After an off week to evaluate themselves, the Jayhawks need to get off to a good start with a convincing victory over the Cyclones, who are limping into Memorial Stadium after a crushing 24-23 loss to Kansas State.
The Jayhawks learn from last year's first half against the Cyclones and get up a couple of scores early. KU went to the half down 20-0 at Iowa State in 2008 and had to fight its way back for a 35-33 victory.
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The Jayhawks allow more than 150 rushing yards. Iowa State has run the ball effectively this season behind quarterback Austen Arnaud (322 yards and five scores) and running back Alexander Robinson (502 yards and four scores). The Cyclones will generate some yardage on the ground, even against KU's tough rush defense (ranked third nationally). The Jayhawks just have to make sure Iowa State doesn't run wild.
Three things about Iowa State
1. Iowa State's last win over KU came in 2004, a 13-7 win in Ames.
2. Iowa State first-year coach Paul Rhoads is an Ankeny, Iowa, native. Rhoads was Auburn's defensive coordinator last season.
3. Iowa State kicker Grant Mahoney is one of four kickers nationally with multiple field goals of more than 50 yards.
Iowa State offensive line vs. Kansas defensive line. The Jayhawks are an improved group up front from last season with 10 sacks from the front four in four games. But they'll face their greatest test yet against the Cyclones, who have allowed one sack this season.
J. Brady McCollough's pick: Kansas, 38-21
The Jayhawks will cruise to victory behind a big game from wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe.