Broomfield, defense key on important roles for conference opener


Defensive back Deon Broomfield returns an interception during the Cyclones’ 38-23 win against Tulsa on Saturday, Sept. 1, at Jack Trice Stadium. 

Stephen Koenigsfeld

Deon Broomfield now has three games under his belt as the newest addition to the ISU defense: the hybrid-back.

To ensure the Cyclones get to a 4-0 start for the first time since 2000, all sides of the ball will have to do their part. Against Tulsa, the offense put up 38 points, and against Western Illinois, the defense and special teams shined, only allowing three points.

When Texas Tech (3-0) enters Jack Trice Stadium on Saturday evening, the ISU defense will see the same spread offense they saw last year in Lubbock, Texas. The Cyclones already have an idea of how to slow the Red Raiders down.

“Play your assignment, know where you’re supposed to be at and read your keys,” Broomfield said.

Broomfield said that at times, it can be easy to read what kind of play is going to unfold just by watching the offensive linemen.

“Sometimes the linemen will tell the whole story on whether they’re planning to do something,” Broomfield said. “Not just thinking they’re going to pass every time [and] being ready to come up when the run does present itself.”

Broomfield has a unique position to fill this year as the Cyclone defense continues its efforts in perfecting the hybrid-back position. Secondary coach Troy Douglas said Broomfield has filled the position well.

“He’s a very smart kid,” Douglas said. “He works with the [defensive backs], and then we taught him the nickel position, which is the hybrid-back [position].”

Douglas prided Broomfield on his intelligence for knowing when to come up and stop the run and when to drop back to protect the pass.

So far this season, Broomfield has checked in with seven solo and three assisted tackles. Broomfield also returned one interception for 51 yards in the season opener against Tulsa.

In the past, Texas Tech has been known for spreading the field and passing the ball. However, the Cyclone defense is prepared for the Red Raiders to change it up and try running the ball more than usual.

Defensive coordinator Wally Burnham said it would be very important for Broomfield to have a big game but also said he was only part of the package.

“Deon is just one of the cogs in the wheel,” Burnham said. “But [the game] isn’t just going to fall on his shoulders. But he’s got to do a great job like everyone else.”

While the hybrid-back position is important against the spread offenses of the Big 12, Burnham stressed that in order for the Cyclones to come out on top, the entire defense will have to do its job at full power.

Iowa State kicks off against Texas Tech at 6 p.m. on Saturday. Both the Red Raiders and Cyclones will enter Jack Trice Stadium 3-0.