Paul Rhoads mute on quarterbacks, prepares for Baylor

Deon+Broomfield+tackles+OSU+running+back+Joseph+Randle+in+the+Cyclones+31-10+loss+to+Oklahoma+State+on+Saturday%2C+Oct.+20%2C+at+Boone+Pickens+Stadium.%0A

Deon Broomfield tackles OSU running back Joseph Randle in the Cyclones’ 31-10 loss to Oklahoma State on Saturday, Oct. 20, at Boone Pickens Stadium.

Stephen Koenigsfeld

Mute.

That’s how ISU coach Paul Rhoads was regarding his quarterbacks on Tuesday, Oct. 23, when he addressed the media during his weekly news conference.

In the 31-10 loss to Oklahoma State, the Cyclones (4-3, 1-3 Big 12) showed off two of their quarterbacks: Steele Jantz and Jared Barnett. After subpar performances from both, talk of seeing redshirt freshman Sam Richardson brewed.

But Rhoads hardly addressed the issue.

“I’ve got three [quarterbacks],” Rhoads said. “I’m just going to go mute.”

Heading into Saturday’s Homecoming game against Baylor, the Cyclones will have a lot to look at.

Baylor defense

The Bears (3-3, 0-3) are highly ranked in the nation in terms of offense, but their defense is struggling. Rhoads said this could be an opportunity for the offense to regain confidence.

“We need to get back on track regardless,” Rhoads said. “We have to do the things we do well … and see if we can be more efficient in our execution.”

Players are also looking at what they can do to exploit a hurting Baylor defense, which is ranked dead last in the nation in total defense (553.17 yards per game) and points allowed (44 points per game).

“You have to watch the film and understand why they are struggling,” said running back Jeff Woody. “[Find] where most of these yards and big plays are coming from.”

Woody said by watching the film, he and the rest of the offense can pinpoint where the Bears are struggling and what were just flukes and lucky shots down field by opponents.

The Cyclones might be without starting running back James White again against Baylor. White ran for the first time on Monday since his knee surgery.

“It’s the first time he’s ran on land since the surgery,” Rhoads said. “Now it’s at a point where he should start progressing at a rapid pace.”

Rhoads said receiver Josh Lenz, who sat out in last Saturday’s loss due to a quadriceps injury, would almost certainly return Saturday, while White was “a maybe.”

Baylor offense

In his news conference, Rhoads talked about Baylor being one of the fastest teams in the Big 12. With the loss of Heisman Trophy-winner Robert Griffin III, the Bears have picked up the slack and continued forward.

Rhoads described the Baylor offense as the “most explosive offense in the Big 12.”

“They are fast. If you take your eyes off them for a second, they’ll be up the field running a fly route on you,” said ISU defensive back Deon Broomfield.

Keeping the Baylor running backs from getting into the open field will be essential for the Cyclones. Broomfield said if the running backs do get behind them, it will be difficult to catch them.