Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads feels his team will have no trouble bouncing back from Thursday’s emotional loss to Texas. The Cyclones are on the road in the Big-12 this weekend to visit 20th ranked Texas Tech. “We’re pretty emotional and passionate every football game, win or lose, 10 or 20, last second or games decided in the third quarter,” Rhoads says. He says it’s a challenge in college athletics to overcome both wins and losses and the drain that’s associated with them.
Texas Tech freshman quarterback Baker Mayfield injured a knee in Saturday’s win at Kansas but Rhoads says that will not alter their preparation. He says they run the same offense no matter who is behind center and that is what they prepare for.
Rhoads says the Red Raiders are a reflection of first year coach Kliff Kingsbury. “His football team is one that plays with great calmness and poise,” Rhoads says. He says they got behind on the road to an inspired team and remained calm and soon turned things around and went on to a victory.
Quarterback Sam Richardson made several plays on third down by running the ball against Texas and Rhoads says they will need more of the same going forward, and need to do a better job of protecting Richardson.
Despite a 1-3 record Rhoads says he has been happy with the progress as he says they have improved every week and in every game. Iowa State has beaten a ranked opponent on the road in each of the last three seasons but Rhoads says there is no magic formula. “You’ve got to execute well, and we didn’t execute well Thursday night to finish the game and get a victory, so going on the road now against the 20th ranked team in the country, we’ve got to learn what it takes and physically work to improve on those things,” Rhoads says.
Tech has been known for its offense over the years but Rhoads says the Red Raider defense has made major strides this season. “They’re energized, they’re confident, they’re playing that way,” Rhoads says. He says they really fly around to the football.