KU Jayhawks football vs. Iowa State Cyclones: Prediction, betting line, TV for Saturday

Charlie Neibergall/AP

Matt Campbell of Iowa State is the latest college football coach faced with the difficult task of trying to slow a potent Kansas offense led by dual-threat quarterback Jalon Daniels.

Daniels, a 6-foot-0, 215-pound junior from Lawndale, California, has thrown for 890 yards and 11 touchdowns and rushed for 320 yards and four TDs for the Jayhawks (4-0) entering Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. home game against the Cyclones (3-1).

KU has averaged 48.5 points per game while ISU’s defense has allowed 14.5 per outing.

Iowa State was a 3-point favorite as of Friday afternoon.

“I said to our staff this morning one of the things that’s probably so impressive about him is you look at him, and you’re like, ‘Man, I want to be around that kid,’’’ Campbell said of Daniels, a player with an outgoing personality and infectious smile. “As a coach, and as an opposing coach, I think how he carries himself, how he plays the game, you just have a real appreciation for him.”

Campbell, ISU’s 42-year-old, seventh-year head coach, continued.

“You can tell the kids believe in him. He believes in himself. He’s having fun playing,” Campbell said. “Again, the credit there has to go a little bit to (the KU coaching) staff.

“You do a great job of putting your players in position to be successful. I talk about that all the time in our program. Players, formations, plays ... and I think that’s what you see. You see a young man that certainly has talent and he’s being put in great position to use his talent. And he’s enjoying playing the game, and he’s putting his team in great position to have success.”

Campbell was asked what it is about Daniels that stands out on film.

“A guy that’s extremely confident,” he said. “A young man that has got elite athleticism. His ability to really challenge you every time the ball is in his hand.

“And you know, as soon as you think, ‘He’s just going to be a runner,’ you’ll be false, right? ... To me, he is just a very confident football player and a guy that can challenge you every single time the ball’s in his hands.”

The Jayhawks have averaged 472.5 yards per game on offense with Daniels in charge. The Jayhawks’ rushing game has accounted for 246 yards per contest. ISU has allowed 75.8 yards rushing per game and 266 yards total.

“I think what they do pre-snap to what they do post-snap is they constantly put your eyes and your discipline in conflict.,” Campbell said of the Jayhawks. “We’re going to have to do a great job of growth of last week to this week (after ISU’s 31-24 home loss to Baylor). That is going to be critical to our success.”

KU coach Lance Leipold is hoping the Jayhawks’ improvement in his second year with the program will translate to a much different outcome against ISU than a year ago. KU, in the first league road game of the Leipold era, fell to the Cyclones 59-7 in Ames last season.

“That was one of the biggest games (in which) they looked a lot different than we did,” Leipold said of the Cyclones looking as if they were on a different level physically than the Jayhawks.

“Also, when we pulled up to their facilities, (we saw) how different that was. That was an eye-opening, humbling 30 hours there (in Ames). It also helped set ... my expectations on what I need to do here as the head football coach.”

The Cyclones have played in five straight bowl games under Campbell.

“They’re physical, well coached,” Leipold said. “I mean, Matt does an outstanding job, and as I’ve said before, that’s a program in in many ways that we look to be like. It’s a high compliment to Matt Campbell and his staff ...”

Prediction: Kansas 38, Iowa State 24

Last game prediction: Kansas 45, Duke 28 (actual KU 35, Duke 27)

2022 record on picks: 3-1

2022 record vs. spread: 2-2