Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads believes the Cyclones offensive line will show improvement when they host the Iowa Hawkeyes in the 59th meeting in the series. Right guard Hayworth Hicks will return to the lineup after missing Saturday’s 20-19 season opening win over U.N.I. and Rhoads believes left tackle Kelechi Osemele will be more healthy this week.
He says Osemele played on a sprained ankle in camp and has been fighting that. Rhoads says the offensive line will need a great effort against an Iowa defensive front that looks strong despite the loss of several big names from a year ago. He says Mike Daniels is a fantastic player and he says Iowa makes it very tough to run against them.
Rhoads says the Cyclones will need to be more physical againat an Iowa team that has outscored the Cyclones 70-10 in the last two years. He says they are a good football team and program and he says last year they didn’t make many mistakes in the game, while his team has not played well.
Rhoads says if they are to win, they cannot be manhandled at the line of scrimmage. He says the names may change the preparation for the Iowa game remains the same, as you prepare what they do as a team no matter who is in the lineup.
Quarterback Steele Jantz made some ill advised throws in the opener against U.N.I. but Rhoads feels overall Jantz performed well. Rhoads says he thought Jantz was “a shinning star” on the offense and made big plays at the end when he was tired, so he was pleased with his quarterback’s first game.
Jantz led the Cyclones with 80 yards of rushing and Rhoads says they need more production out of their running backs. Rhoads says Jantz is a weapon and will carry the ball and to get the others involved they have to block better up front.
Iowa State linebacker Jake Knott says the Cyclones will need a great week of practice if they hope to get their series with Iowa turned around. The Hawkeyes have won the last three games in the series, including the past two in lopsided fashion. He says the last two years have been tough and they will have to play their best game to stay with the Hawkeyes.
Knott says the Cyclones need to get off to a good start on Saturday and contain them right away with a good first series on defense that will set the tone for the rest of the game.
Knott says the Cyclones missed too many tackles in the victory over U.N.I. and they will need to do a better job against the Hawkeyes.