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Iowa State football vs. South Dakota State: Time, TV schedule, game preview, score

Cyclones host South Dakota State in season opener

Iowa State Cyclones players celebrate with teammates after winning 42-24 over the Northern Iowa Panthers in the second half of play at Jack Trice Stadium on September 2, 2017 in Ames, Iowa. (Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images)

AMES, Iowa – Following a breakthrough season that included two wins over top-five-ranked opponents including a stunning 38-31 victory at No. 3 Oklahoma, Iowa State is a popular sleeper pick to win the Big 12 Conference this season. The Cyclones open their 2018 campaign against one of the top teams in the FCS when South Dakota State visits Ames on Saturday night.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, None. LINE: None

A number of key pieces return from a Cyclones squad defeated the Sooners and No. 4 TCU (14-7) over a four-game span en route to 21-20 Liberty Bowl victory over No. 19 Memphis.

Perhaps the biggest is head coach Matt Campbell who returns for his third season after garnering Big 12 Coach of the Year honors and having his name linked with several top coaching openings. Campbell, who inherited a team that finished 3-9 in 2015, says the key now is to build on the team’s first eight-victory season since 2000.

“I really like this team,” Campbell said. “Our kids have had a really good summer. I’m proud of what we’ve done. The next step for us is the consistency piece of it.”

ABOUT SOUTH DAKOTA STATE (11-3 in 2017)

The Jackrabbits return 14 starters from a squad that won a program record 11 games and reached the FCS semifinals for the first time where they lost to James Madison, 51-16. Senior quarterback Taryn Christion leads the way, passing for 3,000 yards and 30 touchdowns in consecutive seasons and also rushing for 500 and nine more TDs last year.

All-American linebacker Christian Rozeboom returns to anchor a defense that features an NFL cornerback prospect in Jordan Brown and former Iowa safety Brandon Snyder.

ABOUT IOWA STATE (8-5 in 2017)

The Cyclones got big news in the off-season when quarterback Kyle Kempt, who broke the school’s completion mark (66.3 percent) and knocked off three ranked opponents in his eight starts, was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA. He enters the season with a streak of 130 consecutive passes without an interception, 25 shy of the school record, and will lead an offense that returns 11 players who started four games or more and features a pair of running backs in Mike Warren (1,339 in 2015) and David Montgomery (1,146 in 2017) who have recorded 1,000-yard rushing seasons.

The defense returns six players who earned All-Big 12 honors led by cornerback Brian Peavy who is included on some preseason All-America lists.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Iowa State led the nation in fewest fumbles (one) last season, tying the NCAA FBS record for fewest lost fumbles in a season.

2. The Cyclones were 1-56-2 all-time against top-five opponents before going 2-0 in 2017.

3. South Dakota State was ranked No. 3 in the preseason FCS poll after finishing sixth last season.

PREDICTION: Iowa State 38, South Dakota State 17

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