With a competitive roster and an emerging star at quarterback, Iowa State is ready to compete in the Big 12 again. However, do the Iowa State season predictions give much hope with their tough schedule in 2023?
Iowa State Season Predictions: Predicting the Game-By-Game Results
Using groupthink, College Football Network analysts have painstakingly gone through every game for every team in the Big 12 and across the country.
Picking these games straight up with a projected score using the rosters as up-to-date as the last spring practice, the Iowa State season predictions indicate what fans can possibly expect for the Cyclones in 2023.
Week 1 – Iowa State vs. Northern Iowa: Win, 34-14
The season starts off with a sneaky game against Northern Iowa. UNI possesses enough skill players to give most FBS defenses a few fits but the transfer portal has robbed them of their true stars in recent years.
Hunter Dekkers and the emergence kicks off with a terrific offensive performance against a depleted Northern Iowa secondary in Week 1.
Week 2 – Iowa State vs. Iowa: Loss, 16-19
It’s safe to say Iowa State has the better offense than Iowa at this stage of the game. But it’s also safe to say that Iowa’s defense is going to be light years ahead of Iowa State’s defense at this point and still presents a huge problem for the Cyclones’ offense in 2023.
Riley Moss and Cooper DeJean can limit the passing ability from Dekkers as well as the potential star power for Iowa State at every level of the field, and should be able to keep them out of the end zone for the most part.
Week 3 – Iowa State @ Ohio: Win, 32-26
Though their meeting went heavily in the way of the Cyclones, the Ohio Bobcats welcome Iowa State to Athens for their rematch and it should be much closer. Kurtis Rourke is a dominant quarterback and the Bobcats have worked on their defensive secondary this offseason.
Kwame Sutton brings a presence off the edge for Ohio that Iowa State will have to deal with. Ultimately, they get it done, but don’t expect the result from a season ago.
Week 4 – Iowa State vs. Oklahoma State: Win, 28-21
An early-season matchup against Oklahoma State has a victory written all over it in 2023 for Iowa State. The Cowboys are fielding issues and questions around a bevy of positions, none more notably than the quarterback spot.
As they’ve been decimated in the transfer portal, the 2023 season is shaping up to be Mike Gundy’s first losing season since 2005, the year he took over Oklahoma State.
Week 5 – Iowa State @ Oklahoma: Loss, 27-38
A trip to Norman headlines the Week 5 schedule for the Big 12 and Iowa State will look to once again give the Sooners a scare. However, this year appears to be different as Oklahoma has reworked its defense and should be equipped to slow down most offenses.
In this battle of left-handed quarterbacks, advantage: Dillon Gabriel and the Sooners.
Week 6 – Iowa State vs. TCU: Win, 28-22
While our analysts weren’t split on the result here, we were split on the margin of victory and total points that TCU may even score. When it all came down to it, Iowa State is the better team as of right now, mainly because of Dekkers and the expected emergence of Jayden Higgins at wide receiver.
The big man on the outside is set to take Xavier Hutchinson’s spot and is fully capable of dominating at the catch point and after the catch. TCU lost a ton of talent to the NFL Draft and should be a work in progress under Sonny Dykes in his second season.
Week 7 – Iowa State @ Cincinnati: Win, 24-23
Welcome to the Big 12 Cincinnati and welcome Iowa State to the Queen City in Week 7. Heading to Cincinnati in Week 7 ahead of their bye week, Iowa State has all the makings of sitting at either 6-1 or 5-2 after a victory here.
However, despite Cincinnati’s roster overhaul in the Scott Satterfield era, this is not a roster to overlook. Where they go at quarterback — likely Emory Jones — and what they want to do on offense will be figured out by now and Dekkers will have to play a great game against this secondary to give Iowa State the win.
Week 9 – Iowa State @ Baylor: Win, 23-21
Will McDonald IV is gone and the Byalor offensive line is as strong as ever. Still, despite that talent gap in the trenches, Baylor is a few pieces short of a complete roster on both sides of the ball and the Cyclones can give them fits on the outside all game long.
Week 10 – Iowa State vs. Kansas: Win, 26-23
The Kansas Jayhawks are a great story under head coach Lance Leipold. Given the fact that Jalon Daniels returns as the quarterback and Leipold’s resurgent nature, the Jayhawks are must-watch TV.
That being said, the Kansas secondary gave them issues a year ago and with Jaylin Noel occupying one side and Higgins on the other, stopping the aerial assault from Iowa State is an issue every team is going to have this season.
Week 11 – Iowa State @ BYU: Win, 32-24
Heading to Provo ahead of a tough end of their schedule, the BYU offense has enough firepower to give them a winning record this season but not enough to compete with Iowa State’s. This will be a battle of high-octane teams with the size advantage going the way of the Cyclones.
Even in the hostile territory that is LaVell Edwards Stadium, Iowa State can reach victory number eight on our season predictions.
Week 12 – Iowa State vs. Texas: Loss, 22-31
This is the big one for Iowa State in 2023. With an early-season date against Oklahoma, the chance to play Cinderella and win their sixth straight Big 12 game while knocking Texas potentially out of the picture presents itself.
Ultimately, the difference is the passing attack the Longhorns possess with Quinn Ewers and Xavier Worthy. They make the trip to Ames and keep their Big 12 Championship hopes alive in their final season in the conference.
Week 13 – Iowa State @ Kansas State: Loss, 24-28
The defending Big 12 champs play host to Iowa State in the regular season finale for both programs. Kansas State, though much different from their championship roster from last year, presents a problem in how they can beat teams in 2023.
They’ll run the ball and play keep away with a stout rushing attack and physical presence in the trenches. Still, the Cyclones are projected to finish 8-4 here in our Iowa State season predictions, with two of those losses by four or fewer points.
Double-digit wins is not off the table for Iowa State in 2023.