Quarterback changes, Knott struggles against Missouri


ISU linebacker Jake Knott makes one of his four tackles during the first half of the Cyclones’ 52-17 loss to Missouri. Knott, who had been averaging 12 tackles per game, sat out the week of practice leading up to the game due to injury and struggled against the Tigers.

Jake Calhoun

COLUMBIA, Mo. — An interception was not the first pass Jared Barnett would have wanted to throw for his college football career.

But after how things were going for Iowa State in its 52-17 loss to Missouri at Faurot Field in Columbia, Mo., on Saturday, there was no room for the redshirt freshman quarterback to hang his head.

“I think every play I became more and more comfortable,” Barnett said. “But I mean, this is an offense that I run every day in practice. I didn’t go on the field and I wasn’t uncomfortable to begin with.”

The Garland, Texas, native was put into the game at the start of the fourth quarter in place of starter Steele Jantz, who completed just 17-of-32 passes with just 161 passing yards in three quarters of play.

“You’ve always got to be ready to play, regardless if you’re a one, two or a three,” Barnett said. “I was just happy that my number was called to get the chance.”

While Barnett went only 3-for-8 in passing for 25 yards, he managed to successfully lead the Cyclones (3-3, 0-3 Big 12) down the field early in the fourth quarter for their only offensive touchdown of the game — a 13-yard run by Jeff Woody, his first of the season.

“I feel like he did pretty good,” said receiver Darius Reynolds of Barnett. “He got the offense rolling, he got the tempo moving pretty quick, which is what we try to do. I feel like as a backup, he came in and did a pretty good job.”

The Cyclones managed to get the running game going under Barnett, who contributed 21 of the 107 yards gained on the ground in the fourth quarter against the Tigers (3-3, 1-2).

Jantz, who has started all six games for the Cyclones this season, said he did not feel slighted when the coaches decided to bench him for Barnett in the fourth quarter.

“It wasn’t so much about Barnett as it was just trying to get the offense going and talk to them and hope that they could get a drive going,” Jantz said. “I don’t care who’s in the game as long as we’re making plays, and I thought we had some good drives so I didn’t really care too much.”

The ISU offense was out-gained in total offensive yards for the fifth time in six games, as the Tigers nearly reached 300 yards in both rushing (294) and passing (289).

Of those five games in which the Cyclones have been out-gained in total yards, they also had been out-gained in rushing yards in each of them as well. Missouri’s rushing total overwhelmingly outmatched Iowa State’s, 294-157, in the contest.

The limited presence of the team’s leading tackler, junior linebacker Jake Knott, inhibited the Cyclones’ ability to stop the run.

“When the game first started, he just wasn’t quite at full speed in playing, got nicked on something,” said ISU coach Paul Rhoads. “As soon as he shook that off, I don’t think he came out until we made the decision late to take him off the field.”

Knott had a season-low four tackles in limited action against the Tigers after trying to recover from having dislocated his shoulder twice Oct. 8 in a loss to Baylor.

The Waukee, Iowa, native still leads the team in total tackles with 63 while averaging 10.5 per game, which is tied for 14th in the nation. Knott also notched his first interception of the season in the second quarter, which was the fifth of his career.

“I thought I played pretty poor,” Knott said. “My mindset was not what it normally was. I’ve got to play a lot better to give us a chance at winning.”

Rhoads said Knott has been kept out of practice for the past two weeks in order to recover from various ailments in hopes that he would be healthy for Saturdays, which Knott said was a decision made by the coaching staff.

“He played courageously,” Rhoads said. “It doesn’t mean he played well, but he gave everything he had, I can assure you that.”