Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads has his most talented team in his three years at Iowa State and he’s hoping it translates into more wins.
The Cyclones are coming off a 5-7 season and must now prepare for a difficult schedule that includes a round-robin format in the new Big-12 and non conference games against Iowa at home and UCONN on the road.
Rhoads says this will be his best football team and they have to go out and prove that. He says it is the most talented team, but the players going out and executing will determine if it becomes the best team.
Rhoads feels the Cyclones have what it takes to get back to the post-season. He says they don’t’ go beyond their yearly expectation which is to win bowl games. Rhoads says they don’t want to just get there, they want to win. Long term he says they want to build a championship program.
Rhoads plans to have a starting quarterback in place two weeks before the season begins. Junior Jerome Tiller, junior college transfer Steele Jantz and redshirt freshman Jared Barnett are all in the mix.
He says by August 20th they will have had 20 practices and 3 major scrimmages and he hopes to be able to name a starting quarterback for the opener against U.N.I.
Rhoads says it will take decision making, accuracy and someone who can get the job done with his mind and his arm. Rhoads says Tiller has the knowledge of the offense and probably the best decision making, he says Jantz has the athletic ability, but not the experience, while Barnett is the most accurate passer.
Rhoads says the defensive line will be vastly improved this season as they have a number of third-year guys who have grown and developed physically and mentally.
Iowa State opens at home September third against UNI.