Saturday’s upset win at Texas has changed the outlook for the Iowa State Cyclones as they enter the home stretch of the regular season. At 4-4 overall, the Cyclones are edging closer to bowl eligibility and they finish with three of their last four at home.
Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads says to be at 4-4 and show the resiliency they have shown and to get the win at Texas makes them very pleased. Rhoads says the victory over Texas ranks up there with last year’s win at Nebraska. He says when you haven’t won at a place for 32 years (Nebraska) and haven’t ever won at the other (Texas) both are “pretty significant.”
Rhoads says the win over Nebraska put them at 5-3 and was after a win, while the win at Texas came after two big losses, and he says you can count out the significance of winning at programs with such tradition, and the boost it gives them.
Cyclone defensive end Jacob Lattimer has been named the Big 12 defensive player of the week. Lattimer had two sacks and two tackles for a loss in his first start. Rhoads says Lattimer has been coming on and that’s why the moved him into the starting role. He says Lattimer was “relentless” Saturday and the whole front four played a good game.
Iowa State hosts 2-5 Kansas this weekend and Rhoads says the goal this week to to avoid a letdown. Rhoads says “there’s a lot that takes place between your ears and state of mind and attitude will play a big role in how we perform this Saturday.” Rhoads says they have to talk about that all week so they prepare very well and peak Saturday at game time.
The Cyclones are two wins away from being eligible for a bowl game and Rhoads does not mind if the players talk about it. Rhoads says they like to have expectations for the program and he says last year it was probably overstate last year as it seemed so lofty when he took over. But he says college football is all about winning bowl games and he doesn’t have a problem with them talking about it.
Rhoads says the Cyclones are looking forward to playing three home games as he says it’s always preferred to play at home than on the road.