If familiarity breeds contempt then Thursday night’s matchup between Iowa State and Tulsa should feature plenty of intensity. It will be the teams third meeting in a little more than a year and last December the Golden Hurricane beat the Cyclones 31-17 in the Liberty Bowl.
“With human nature being what it is, that’s not something you have to play off of, it’s not like I’m pounding the whistle in every practice saying ‘they owe us one,” ISU coach Paul Rhoads says. He expects the Tulsa players feel the same way.
Rhoads hopes quarterback Sam Richardson’s ankle has healed up enough to make him more of a factor in the running game. Richardson has only 86 yards in the first two games. He says it’s a physical sport and there are not many guys playing 100-percent healthy throughout the season. Rhoads says they will see how things go and if Richardson can’t be a viable part of the offense, then they will look to adjust.
Rhoads says a concern for the Cyclone defense is the big play ability of Tulsa leading rusher and receiver Trey Watts as he says Watts is “a dangerous weapon” whereve they put him on the field. At 0-2 this is a big game for the Cyclones.
“We’re certainly in need of a victory and Tulsa is as well…so, that’s the great thing about sports and competition, both people working for the same prize,” according toe Rhoads. He says the key is to not press, so you are able to execute.
Tulsa coach Bill Blankenship says these are not the same teams that played last December as they have many players who were not part of the bowl game. Tulsa rushed for more than 300 yards in their Liberty Bowl victory but they are averaging only 120 on the ground this season.
It is a 6:30 kickoff on Thursday night at Tulsa.