A year ago Iowa State showed the ability to bounce back from tough losses and coach Paul Rhoads hopes this year’s team can do the same. After falling to ninth ranked Iowa 35-7 the Cyclones get set to travel to Kansas City to open Big-12 play against Kansas State. Rhoads says you have to play the game and see if they are resilient enought to come back. He says they stress letting games go, as he says you have to do that when you lose and when you win as well.
Rhoads says he does not it will be easier to bounce back because it is a league game. He says they have talked about this being a conference game and how they are starting over with the conference schedule and their goal of winning the conference. This is the second of a two year agreement between I.S.U. and K-State to play in Arrowhead Stadium and Rhoads says he would like to play more games in Kansas City in the future.
He says a 9 game round robin schedule allows for that, and as he says it’s a great place for the players to play as it is a NFL stadium.
After giving up 275 yards of rushing in the loss to Iowa the Cyclones need to shore up their run defense in a hurry. Rhoads says the Wildcats will run the ball with a very good back who is averaging 185 yards a game. He says they will run some option, which Iowa does not run, but will still have some of the power running that Iowa had.
Rhoads gave credit to Iowa but says the Cyclones could have done some things to make it more of a game. “First and foremost they beat us, and physically did so, and secondly we had a number of mistakes where we hurt ourselves, we had costly penalties, we had drops, we had errant throws, we had guys out of their gaps, anytime you have a loss, there’s a number of mistakes that you can look in the mirror and see that you yourself provided,” Rhoads said.
Rhoads will need to juggle the linebacking corps this week. Middle linebacker Matt Tau’fo’ou will be out several weeks with a fractured leg.