Iowa State quarterback Jared Barnett may only be a sophomore but he has been around long enough to know he needs to prove himself every week. After starting the final six games of last year Barnett began this season as a backup to Steele Jantz.

He got his first start at 13th ranked TCU and led the Cyclones to a 37-23 win. “It’s definitely a rollercoaster, I have to keep my emotions lined up, keep them in line, I can’t get too high, I can’t get too low,” Barnett says, “I mean I still have to prepare every week like I am the starter, and that’s what I was doing when Steele was playing, now I just have to elevate that now.”

Barnett says he needs to play at a consistent level and it begins with limiting mistakes. He says a lot of the turnovers weren’t just Jantz’s fault, but the quarterbacks have to make better decisions with the ball. Barnett had three touchdown passes in the victory at TCU but says there is plenty of room for improvement.

“We did a lot of really good things, but I also had a lot of really stupid mistakes,” Barnett explains. He cites the interception he threw as an example where he didn’t go all the way through his progressions before throwing the ball.

The Cyclones host fifth ranked Kansas State this weekend and Barnett says a win would be a huge step for the program. “I think it will definitely boost the confidence of our team, it’ll show the outside world what we can do. In the lockerroom we know that we can beat this team, we know that we can beat everybody on our schedule,” Barnett says.

Kickoff is 11 a.m. Saturday.