Time is running out for the Iowa State Cyclones who need to win one of their final two games to avoid a winless Big 12 season. It begins on Saturday night at home against Kansas.
ISU coach Paul Rhoads feels his team actually gained confidence from Saturday’s 48-10 loss at Oklahoma because the game was tied at 10 at the half. He say the confidence makes the team play better than it has and he says they have confidence, even in the loss.
And Rhoads feels the Cyclones are more confident despite a 1-9 overall record. He says it may not be enough confidence to match Kansas as they got a win, but he says hopefully enough to overcome the things they face. Rhoads he felt showed improvement against the Sooners in several areas. “Explosive run plays against a very good football team. Plays that have been lacking. Easy throws and catches,” He says. Rhoads says better protection by the offensive line led to better throws, while his defense also tackled better.
Oklahoma rushed for 405 yards in the game and most of it came in the second half. Rhoads says there were two areas of concern, guys being the wrong spot and good Oklahoma players making some of the Cyclones look bad in space.
The run defense will need to be better on Saturday to slowdown the Jayhawk’s James Sims, who is third in the conference in rushing. “Sims is a good player, we’ve always felt that. Seeing him have an explosive game the week before is not encouraging to us,” Rhoads says.
Kansas is coming off a 31-19 victory over West Virginia, which snapped a 27-game losing skid in Big-12 play. Kansas coach Charlie Weis says it is a psychological lift as he says losing wears on you after awhile. Weis says the game at Iowa State offers a new challenge, as they have not won on the road in a long time.