Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads is sticking with a practice plan designed to give his players enough rest. Rhoads continues to give the Cyclones Sunday and Monday off and he hopes it will lead to fresh legs for this week’s matchup at home against Nebraska. He says they went through a stretch where they played a lot of snaps and he says their conditioning because of that is good. And he says the coaching staff doesn’t feel they are losing any preparation, so he says having fresh legs is more important than the practice time.
Rhoads says the Cyclones aren’t even thinking about a division title. If ISU wins their final three games they would play in the Big-12 Championship game. “We’re not in the Big 12 race in the Big 12 North, maybe numerically speaking we are, we’re just out there trying to improve,” Rhoads says. He says everyone is talking about Nebraska and Missouri and that’s okay, as they just want to play a good game against a top ten opponent.
Rhoads says the Cyclones know the Huskers will remember last years 9-7 Iowa State victory in Lincoln. “There’s a good chance that they’ll be ready to play Saturday afternoon,” Rhoads said with a laugh, “I would too.” He says if both teams respond after the initial snap, then those type of things are forgotten. Rhoad says he just has to be sure that his team is ready to respond on the opening kickoff.
With Nebraska moving to the Big Ten the series with the Huskers ends after Saturday. Rhoads says as a kid growing up, watching Nebraska’s I-backs in Ames, and later as a coach watching them as they won national championships, he says it is a “fantastic program” that you like to compete against.
Center Ben Lamaak missed the game against Kansas with a knee injury and Rhoads says if he returns for this weekend it will give added leadership to the offensive line. Rhoads says Lamaak makes all the line calls and as the voice of that group, the others are used to that, and he says Lamaak is a good player.