Excuse Iowa State if the Cyclones don't require any additional motivation -- and they don't.
This game matters. They don't need last year's 35-3 drubbing in Ames to help them remember. They don't need Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn to help, either.
"It means a lot, especially to us seniors and to the kids that are from Iowa. I don’t think everyone from out of state fully comprehends what this rivalry means," said running back Alexander Robinson. "It means the world to us."
Clayborn, one of the nation's top defensive players, provided the dreaded "bulletin board material" over the summer with a quote that got fans fired up on both sides, but the Cyclones say they hardly noticed.
“Too much actually, it makes me want to stay in the house,” Clayborn told reporters when asked about the expectations on the Hawkeyes this season. “But it comes with being a Hawkeye football player. I mean we’re the only team in the state, as far as I know. And it comes with being us, I guess.”
The quote made a brief stay on the wall of the locker room over the summer, but it's long gone. Robinson said he didn't even hear it until reporters looking for Robinson to return the favor with an inflammatory quote grilled him over the summer.
Not gonna happen.
"It's just something he said, it didn't really affect us positively or negatively," Robinson said.
Quarterback Austen Arnaud is an Ames native and watched Seneca Wallace knock off the Hawkeyes in 2002 for Iowa State's fifth consecutive win in the series. He watched the program's second win since then -- in 2007 -- from the sidelines as a redshirt freshman.
"It's huge for the state, because there aren't any major professional teams in the state," he said. "It's a big deal. This is it."
And this is it for Arnaud, a senior looking to win his first game against the Hawkeyes, who enter Saturday's game ranked ninth, in three tries. Iowa boasts one of the nation's top defenses, and that's nothing new. Iowa State hasn't scored a touchdown in the rivalry since a 2006 loss -- 2007's final score was 15-13 and didn't require the Cyclones to reach the end zone.
Arnaud surely will try to change that on Saturday.
"For as much as the fans get into it, for both teams, I think we both take it just as Game 2 on the schedule," he said. "You have to."