Cyclone Football Game Preview: SEMO



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The Cyclones open up their season on September 4th at home at Jack Trice Stadium at 1 PM (CT). Southeast Missouri State should be a nice tune up game for the Cyclones.


Previewing the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks

The RedHawks finished the 2021-22 season at 4-7 in the FCS. They are led by Junior College transfer quarterback CJ Ogbonna who started last season for the RedHawks out of Hutchinson Community College. Ogbonna threw for 1,521 yards while tossing 12 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also ran for 357 yards and 3 touchdowns. Ogbonna also had star running back Geno Hess in the backfield with him. Hess ran for over 1,100 yards last season and 14 touchdowns. Johnny King was the leading receiver for the Southeast Missouri State last season with 449 yards on 24 catches and 5 touchdowns. The Redhawks played a lot of different players on the defensive side of the ball last season and showed their inexperience. Defensive back Trai Hodges had four interceptions and Ty Lenord added two more during the season, but other than that there was not much to talk about for the SEMO defense. The defense had their struggles last season, including giving up over 50 points to Sam Houston State. Most of the Redhawks firepower stems from their offense. The Cyclones have the talent to completely overpower SEMO.





Previewing the Cyclones Coming into their Season Opener

Offense:

This season may have the most question marks heading into the opener of any Matt Campbell team. One of these big question marks is the very talented top recruit Hunter Dekkers who will be controlling Iowa State's offense for the first time as a starter. Deckers was the top recruit in ISU’s class of 2020. He received a grade of 82 from ESPN and was included in their top 300 players. The 4 star recruit also received a 90+ rating from 247 Sports and was ranked in their top 300 players as well. Last season Dekkers threw for 193 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for 60 yards and a score in limited action against Kansas, Iowa, and Oklahoma.


Dekkers at the Elite 11 recruiting camp before coming to Iowa State

(photo via 247 Sports).



Dekkers will be aided with one of the best players in college football returning to catch the ball in Xavier Hutchinson. Xavier had nearly 1000 yards and 5 touchdowns last year for the Cyclones. Breakout sophomore Jaylin Noel from last season will also be in the mix for the Cyclones along with Colorado transfer Dimitri Stanley, red zone threat Sean Shaw and star freshman Greg Gaines. That wide receiver group has plenty of talent and so does the running back room. Filling Breece Hall's shoes will be tough but coach Campbell is confident in the talent he has in the backfield with Brock, Sanders, Silas and Norton. Brock saw the most action behind Breece last year and racked up a couple touchdowns.




The tight end room has plenty of new faces with the departures of Kolar and Allen, however, the coaching staff has been high on converted quarterback Easton Dean, and the new tight end will be able to show his skill at a large scale for the Cyclones this season. Even with the losses of Colin Newell and Derek Schweiger to the offensive line, the Cyclones still have plenty of experience and have a lot of talented depth including a new transfer, James Neal.

Click here to view the projected offensive depth chart for the Cyclones




Defense:

The Cyclone defense is led by another one of the best players in the country, edge rusher Will McDonald who was ranked by ESPN as the #50 player in all of college football and was an AP Preseason All First Team Selection. McDonald has 11.5 sacks and has 29 total over his career for the Cyclones.






The Peterson brothers along with Isaiah Lee and JR Singleton also bring experience to the defensive line for the Cyclones. Delaware transfer Colby Reeder is ready to lead the linebacking crew with ISU veteran O'Rien Vance. Vance has been stellar in his Cyclone career, totaling 194 tackles, 22 tackles for loss and 10 sacks while Reeder had 5 career interceptions during his time at Delaware. Gerry Vaughn who had 45 tackles for the Cyclones last year rounds out the linebacking crew. The secondary will be led by safety Anthony Johnson Jr., who played corner for the Cyclones the last few years. TJ Tampa and Myles Purchase will start at corner for the Cyclones. TJ Tampa had a solid year for the Cyclones last season, totaling 18 tackles and 3 pass deflection in his 2nd season. Myles Purchase burst on the scene last season as well, totaling 13 tackles and a pass defense. Speedster Darien Porter will also see time after his switch from the Wide Receiver Position. Anthony Johnson Jr. and rising star Beau Freyler are ready to lead the way for the Cyclones at the safety position after the safety room took a huge hit with the loss of Greg Eisworth and Isheem Young deciding to transfer. Freyler totaled 15 tackles int eh Cheeze-It Bowl in his first start and will get his second start against Southeast Missouri State.

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Click here to see the projected defensive depth chart for the Cyclones


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