Vilardo: Statistical Preview of Oregon-Iowa State Fiesta Bowl

The Ducks have won five straight games against ranked opponents

Posted on December 31, 2020

Stephen Vilardo
  By Stephen Vilardo, SportsPac12

It will be a first-time affair in the 2020 Fiesta Bowl as Oregon and Iowa State have never before met. Oregon’s 34 all-time bowl appearances are 28th-most in the country. The Ducks are 2-0 in the Fiesta Bowl, and 15-18 in bowl games all-time.

Here’s a statistical look at both teams.


#25 Oregon (4-2) vs #10 Iowa State (8-3)

January 2
1:00 p.m. PT, ESPN

Iowa State is 4-11 all-time in bowl games, but has a 2-0 mark in postseason contests played in Arizona. ISU is in a bowl game for the fourth straight season for the first time ever. The Cyclones have lost five straight games played on a neutral site, the longest active streak in the nation.

In the State of Arizona, the Ducks own a 2-1 postseason mark, having dropped the 2011 Championship game in Glendale.

Oregon enters the Fiesta Bowl 25th in both the CFP and AP Poll, Iowa State is 10th in the CFP and 12th in the AP. The Cyclones are the only team in the nation to play six teams ranked in the final CFP poll. The Ducks have won five straight games over ranked opponents.

Each team has a nice individual streak going entering the game. Jaylon Redd has caught multiple passes for Oregon in 21 straight games, the sixth longest streak in the nation, and the longest of any player from a Power Five conference. He is averaging 2.5 receptions in the first half this season and 1.2 after half. Redd is also averaging 4.5 receptions per game in his two career bowl games.

ISU running back Breece Hall | Tommy Birch/[email protected]

Breece Hall is the nation’s second-leading rusher with 1,436 yards on the ground, and he has had at least one rushing touchdown in an Iowa State-record 11 consecutive games. His 21 total TDs this season are the most ever in a season for a Cyclone.

Iowa State’s Charlie Kolar is averaging 1.5 receptions per game of at least 15 yards, the fifth-most of any tight end in the nation. Kolar’s 2.0 third-down receptions per game are tied for the second-most nationally among TEs. And 1.17 of those are earning a first down for Iowa State, the ninth-most of any TE in the nation.


Jaylon Redd and Devon Williams are both averaging 2.0 first down receptions per game for the Ducks.


This season, 71.69% of Tyler Shough’s third-down completions have picked up a first down for Oregon, the 16th-highest rate in the nation. He is completing 56.8% of his passes on third down this season for a rating of 147.74.

Brock Purdy has completed 61.4% of his third down passes this season but he has thrown four of his nine interceptions on the season on third down. The junior QB has also thrown two interceptions in the Red Zone as his completion percentage dips to 45.5% inside the opponent’s 20.

On third-and-short this season, Oregon has only picked up a rushing first down on 50% of attempts, 100th in the nation. This could be a game that the Ducks could find some success, however, as Iowa State opponents have earned a first down on 78.26% of third-and-short runs, the seventh-highest in the nation.


While Iowa State may have trouble stopping the run on third-and-short, they have not had issues getting stops in the backfield. Iowa State has registered 7.0 or more tackles for loss (TFL) in seven of 11 games, while the Ducks are allowing 5.83 TFL per game.

This season, Iowa State has recorded 78 TFL while allowing 49. The Cyclones have the sixth-best TFL-differential in the nation at +29.0. That figure for ISU comes out to +2.63 per game. Oregon has a differential of -1.0 per game.

Breece Hall is picking up 5.82 first downs on the ground per game, the fourth-most of any player in the nation. Hall is averaging 5.86 yards per carry this season. In their last two games at Cal and at USC, Oregon has given up just 1.68 yards per carry. Not to be outdone, Travis Dye is picking up a first down on 37.5% of his offensive touches for Oregon this season.

Oregon LB Noah Sewell |

Noah Sewell was the only freshman on a Power Five team to lead his team in tackles. The Pac-12 Freshmen Defender of the Year leads an Oregon squad that had an FBS-leading 73.6% of their roster as underclassmen.

Another of those underclassmen has stepped up in the secondary, as Sophomore Mykael Wright led the Pac-12 and ranked sixth in the nation with 1.33 passes defended per game this season.


Oregon-Iowa State Comparisons

 OregonOpponentsIowa StateOpponents
Total Yards429.7409.5437.2346.9
3rd Down47.06%
Turnover Margin-0.83-0.09
Red Zone85.71%84.00%84.78%72.73%

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