Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads is not concerned about the Cyclones having a letdown this week. After posting a 9-6 win at Iowa the Cyclones will try to go 3-0 this weekend when they host Western Illinois out of the FCS ranks.
“I don’t sense any bit of complacency in our kids in our program, and that’s fully judged by how we went through meetings yesterday and how we went through practice yesterday. We had a lot of energy, we had a good of focus, there’s plenty to teach on, that we have an opportunity to improve upon,” Rhoads says.
Rhoads says while happy with Saturday’s victory the Cyclones know they can play much better.
“Believe me, they were thrilled, thrilled with the victory and you’re thrilled with every victory, but that feeling of knowing you put yourself in a position to potentially lose that game is disappointing to them,” Rhoads says.
He says the team is motivated to come back and work to be smarter. Rhoads says the win at Iowa should give the Cyclones more confidence but they are not overconfident.
He is not sure how good the Cyclones could be, as he says one of the things he told the team last week and after this game is to not put a ceiling on how good they can be, and to just try to improve in every practice and game.
He says the statement that you improve the most from week one to week two is “hogwash,” as he says you have the opportunity to improve every time you step on the practice field.
The Cyclones need to eliminate turnovers. They had three in the redzone against Iowa and four overall. Rhoads says they can’t keep winning games if they keep losing the turnover battle.
Iowa State linebacker Jake Knott has been named the Big 12 defensive player of the week. Knott had six tackles and preserved the victory with an interception with a minute-11 remaining. Rhoads says it is a credit to the entire defense.
“Usually to get those kind of individual awards, you have to play well as a team, and the group did,” Rhoads says. He says Knott had a high number of tackles and the big play interception that helped him qualify for the award.