The Iowa State football team is in New York City to continue preparations for the December 30th Pinstripe Bowl against Rutgers. I.S.U. coach Paul Rhoads says the final few practices before leaving Ames concentrated on the game plan. “we want to get just enough introduction to Rutgers that when we get out there we know who we are playing against,” Rhoads says. He says they’ll refine their plan in practice this week.
Rhoads says with the regular season stretching into December there is less of a concern about rust than there was two years ago prior to an Insight Bowl matchup against Minnesota. He says they had a 12 week season last time and maintaining the sharpness late was more difficult, while this time they are taking advantage of some rest.
Rutgers has used two quarterbacks this season, sophomore Chas Dodd and freshman Gary Nova. Rhoads says they are preparing for both, but they have an established offense that doesn’t change a lot with the different quarterbacks.
Rutgers coach Greg Schiano says the Scarlet Knights need to try and find a way to effectively run the ball against a Cyclone defense that is played its best at the end of the regular season. “We’re gonna try…they have really played good defense in the later part of the year,” Schiano says.
Running the ball has been a struggle for Rutgers which averages 91 yards per game and ranks 115th nationally.
The Cyclones are 6-6 while Rutgers finished the regular season 8-4.