Four things the football teams from Iowa State and Iowa can do to have success in Saturday's 3 p.m. game at Jack Trice Stadium:
Iowa State (1-0)
1. Establish the run
With a veteran line and a tested quarterback, Iowa State is working to figure out who will fill the cleats David Montgomery left behind.
The Cyclones did collect 185 yards on the ground in a triple-overtime win over Northern Iowa in their lone outing of the season. ISU used a running back by committee approach in that game.
Expect more of the same against Iowa, with Johnnie Lang, Sheldon Croney and Breece Hall working to build off of solid opening-game efforts and Kene Nwangwu returning from a shoulder injury suffered in the UNI game.
2. D it up front
The strength of the Iowa State defense is on the front end and the better the Cyclones perform up front, the better their chances for success against Iowa.
Nose tackle Ray Lima is one of the top defensive linemen in the Big 12 and end JaQuan Bailey needs one sack to become the Cyclones' career sack leader.
Lima will be the first real test that Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum will face as he settles into his new role.
Lima and Bailey helped position ISU to record 10 tackles for a loss in its season-opening win over Northern Iowa, the sixth time since 2017 Iowa State has reached double digits in dropping an opponent behind the line of scrimmage.
Sophomore linebacker Mike Rose shifted from the middle to the strongside position throughout much of the UNI game, allowing O'Rien Vance to thrive at a middle linebacker spot against the Panthers.
They're at the core of a defense which allowed 34 rushing yards in its opener while mixing and matching multiple looks.
3. Be Purdy good
Brock Purdy make his first appearance against Iowa this weekend. The sophomore has an 8-2 record since settling in under center as a starter midseason last year.
He's orchestrated an offense which has averaged 408.8 yards per game and he opened the season by completing 30-of-41 passes and running an offense which did not record a three-and-out against UNI.
Topping a 70-percent completion rate for the sixth time in his 10 starts, Purdy connected with Deshaunte Jones 14 times against UNI, equaling the most productive day by a receiver in the Football Bowl Subdivision the season.
4. Seize the moment
The party starts early Saturday in Ames, where tailgate lots are scheduled to open at 5 a.m.
With ESPN's College GameDay making its first-ever stop at Jack Trice Stadium on top of what is usually a rather festive event, there has been no shortage of hype this week and there will be lack of energy inside the stadium.
For ISU, this game presents an opportunity to not only end a four-game slide against an instate rival, it also presents a chance to make a statement as a team hoping to make some noise in the Big 12 this season.
1. Establish the run
The ability of Iowa to get something going on the ground and open the play action game for Nate Stanley will be important in the Hawkeyes' first road test of the season.
Mekhi Sargent and Toren Young have combined to average for 128.5 yards per game on the ground this season for Iowa, with freshman Tyler Goodson gaining second-half experience while averaging 44.5 yards.
They've helped the Hawkeyes average 5.1 yards per carry heading into a match-up against a defense which held Northern Iowa to an average of 1.1 yards per rush in its only game so far this season.
Iowa will need a more productive day on the ground than it had a year ago against ISU, when it finished with 105 rushing yards in a 13-3 win.
Continued use of depth, not only in the ground game but in a passing attach which has seen 10 and eight receivers catch balls in Iowa's 2-0 start, will be important.
2. Be disruptive
Can Iowa's pass rush get Brock Purdy out of his comfort zone?
The ISU quarterback has proven that with time, he will scorch opposing defenses. The ability of Iowa ends A.J. Epenesa and Chauncey Golston to impact Purdy's game will be important.
That goes beyond sacking the opposing quarterback. As was the case last weekend against Rutgers, Epenesa's mere presence in the neighborhood can create some panic.
Iowa's defense hasn't lived in opposing backfields this season, recording just two sacks and four tackles for a loss through two games. Expect a more aggressive approach to things with higher stakes involved this week.
Purdy is a threat to run, although he didn't show that much against UNI, but will be something Iowa must be aware of.
3. A healthy effort
Secondary injuries are a primary concern this week for Iowa.
Starting free safety Kaevon Merriweather won't play against Iowa State, joining injured reserve cornerbacks Riley Moss and Julius Brents in sitting out the Cy-Hawk match-up because of injuries.
With starting cornerback Matt Hankins also questionable because of what coach Kirk Ferentz labeled a strain, the Hawkeyes secondary depth has taken a few hits already this season.
That has impacted Iowa's alignment to a degree, leading the Hawkeyes to rely more frequently on their traditional 4-3 rather than the 4-2-5 look that includes a hybrid linebacker/defensive back at the "cash'' position.
Geno Stone and Michael Ojemudia will be counted on to provide Iowa with healthy experience on the back end of the defense.
4. Be at home on the road
The Hawkeyes' road schedule this season is filled with potential potholes.
After visiting Iowa State, Iowa has road dates at Michigan, Northwestern, Wisconsin and Nebraska and if the Hawkeyes have hopes of improving on last season's 9-4 record success away from Kinnick Stadium will be a necessity.
Through the first two games of the season, Iowa's offense has been diverse, its defense has been dominant at times and its special teams have solid although its return games remain largely untested.
The Hawkeyes have been comfortable at home. I asked Kirk Ferentz earlier this week what separated exceptional road teams from average ones and his response boiled down to one trait -- maturity.
Life on the road can be filled with challenges, but Iowa's ability to deal with those challenges as they arise will dictate just how good of a road team this can be.