Cyclones meet Clemson at Cheez-It Bowl today

ORLANDO, Fla. (KCRG) – The Iowa State Cyclones could be the underdog in Wednesday’s Cheez-It Bowl game against the Clemson Tigers, but they’re motivated to grab a win.

The Tigers’ defense is ranked second in FBS, allowing just 15.0 points per game. And that has been a priority for the coaches and players of Cyclone.

“They’ve been playing really well on defense for a long time there and that’s what we expected,” said offensive coordinator Tom Manning.

“They remind me of all the great defenses we’ve played and I have a lot of respect for the linebacker, the guys on the defensive line, as well as the safeties,” said Chase Allen, a 6th year tight end. . “I think they play hard, they know what they’re doing, they go out there and perform.”

The Cyclones will also be without the best running back in the country. Breece Hall heads to the NFL. Manning acknowledges that Hall played a lot of football for the team.

“Jirehl is a guy who has played football a lot for us. Certainly Breece has carried football a lot more as we all know and I think we have to give him the football game and see exactly where we are in terms of football transfer and how much he can handle and make decisions based on that. “

Manning also has two giant tight ends in Charlie Kolar and Chase Allen who can be difficult to cover.

“It definitely gave us flexibility, and I think we were very lucky to have Chase and Charlie who can play wide receiver and also play tight end and be a bit multiple in that sense, so I thinks it’s always a job to find out which are the best players on your team and how you find the opportunities to be in the right positions in terms of staff and training.

Manning also has a quarterback at Brock Purdy who knows how to play in big games and has been and has been theirs.

“I have a great sense of gratitude to him just for his ability to keep playing and keep playing and the man, to handle all the things he has had to deal with, with complete grace and humility, I don’t think anyone who’s been an iowa state football fan will long forget about Brock Purdy and what he was able to do in his career. Man, he had a really good time.

Defensive coordinator Wes Goodwin says Purdy can play well in the spotlight.

“Smart player, you know he’s precise, he can’t say enough good things about himself, so it will definitely be a challenge for us and we have our work cut out for us for sure” , Goodwin said.

And Iowa State faced some big name opponents in beating Oregon last year in the Fiesta Bowl, so Clemson’s name in the uniforms won’t phase the Cyclones.

“Playing against the competition that we’ve been up against over the past three years is what we talked about when we first came here, that has always been the goal and the mission,” Allen said.

The Cheez-It Bolw kicks off at 4:45 p.m. It is broadcast on EPSN.

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