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Iowa State Cyclones Offensive Players to Watch vs. Red Raiders

The Cyclones are without some of their top offensive weapons from a season ago, but there's plenty of threats in Matt Campbell's offense.

The Texas Tech Red Raiders will play their second-to-last game of Big 12 play of this season in Ames, Iowa on Saturday, looking to capture bowl eligibility against the Iowa State Cyclone.s

The Red Raiders leads the all-time series 12-8. Iowa State had won the previous five meetings before Tech's thrilling 41-38 win last season.

Under coach Matt Campbell last season, Iowa State was a bit of a disappointment after starting the season at No. 7 in the AP Poll before ending with a 7-6 record and a loss to the Clemson Tigers in the Cheez-It Bowl. This season has arguably been worse for the team, as the Cyclones tread into Saturday with a 4-6 record and 1-6 record in Big 12 play. Five of Iowa State's losses have been by one score or less.

Be sure to stick with as we preview every aspect of the matchup with the Cyclones throughout the week.

Let's look at the Iowa State offensive players Tech should keep tabs on. 

QB Hunter Dekkers

Dekkers appeared in just four games last season, going 20-36 passing for 193 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. He also rushed four times for 61 yards and a score.

The left-hander is stout at 6-3, 235, and got some solid reps behind Brock Purdy last season. Against No. 10 Iowa early in the season, he went 11-16 passing for 114 yards and a touchdown in the 27-17 loss. The Hawkeyes' defense allowed the fourth-fewest offensive yards per game (326.9) in the Big 12 last season, but Dekkers still produced an impressively efficient stat line.

His lack of experience could play in Tech's favor, but he'll have nearly a full season to get the ball rolling before this matchup.

Dekkers has completed 67.1 percent of his passes in 2022 for 2,644 yards and 17 touchdowns to go against 13 interceptions.

WR Xavier Hutchinson

Hutchinson was Iowa State's top pass-catcher last season. And with his running mate Tarique Milton transferring to Texas this offseason, he'll have more room to run the show. 

The Jacksonville native led the Big 12 in catches (83), was second in yards (987), and had five touchdowns in 2021. Prior to the Cyclones' Cheez-It Bowl loss to Clemson, Hutchinson had a six-game streak of six or more catches and had 96 or more yards in four of those contests.

He was slanted to be one of the conference's best receivers this season and has done just that.

He's caught 97 balls for 1,059 yards and caught six touchdowns in 2022.

RB Jirehl Brock

It's going to be hard to fill the shoes left by Breece Hall this season, but Brock showed at the end of last year that he's ready to step into the lead-back role.

Though Brock appeared in all but one game last season, Hall acted as a workhorse back, meaning his counterpart saw few touches at times. With Hall sitting during the Cheez-It Bowl, Brock got the start but produced little with 14 carries for 42 yards along with three catches for 21 yards. 

The Iowa State offense as a whole failed to produce that game, but Brock showed flashes of big-play ability the week prior against the TCU Horned Frogs, as his first carry went for a quick 41-yard touchdown. With the keys of the backfield this time around, Brock's a running back the Red Raiders need to keep their eyes on. 

Brock has 445 yards on 99 carries and three touchdowns in 2022.

You can follow Zach Dimmitt on Twitter at @ZachDimmitt7

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