ISU football preps for two quarterbacks, explosive offense


Richard Martinez/Iowa State Dail

Senior linebacker Jared Brackens made nine tackles and three assists for the game, tying him with redshirt freshman Kamari Cotton-Moya for the most tackles at 12 each. Iowa State’s homecoming game against Toledo on Oct. 11 ended in a victory for the Cyclones, 37-30.

Beau Berkley

They are two different teams from two vastly different states, but down to the brass tacks, Iowa State and Texas Tech are not all that different. 

After a loss to Kansas on Nov. 8, Iowa State (2-7, 0-6 Big 12) has found itself at the bottom looking up at the rest of the conference. But they don’t have to look to far up to see Texas Tech (3-7, 1-6 Big 12). The Red Raiders started the season with two non-conference victories before its season took a fairly sharp decline, not including a 34-21 win against Kansas on Oct. 18. 

Records and results aside, the two teams have also had to deal with injuries to their quarterbacks in the last few weeks. After starting the entire season, ISU quarterback Sam Richardson had to sit against Kansas after suffering a right shoulder injury. Richardson will start against Texas Tech on Nov. 22, but the Red Raiders situation is slightly different. 

Sophomore quarterback Davis Webb sat last weekend when Texas Tech played Oklahoma, setting the stage for true freshman Pat Mahomes, who did not disappoint by throwing for 393 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions. 

“Whether Mahomes or Davis Webb is back in, it’s the same throws, it’s the same routes, it’s the same combinations,” said coach Paul Rhoads. “I’m pretty confident that Davis Webb will be out there, and if he is, that’s who we got to defend and if he [Mahomes] is, that’s who we got to defend. They’re both talented players and can get the job done.”

Webb might have a bum ankle but he is no slouch when it comes to getting the ball to his receivers. Webb leads the conference in passing yards per game with 317.4 yards, just enough to edge out West Virginia’s Clint Trickett, who is at 317.3 yards. Webb is also tied with TCU’s Trevone Boykin at 24 touchdown passes, the most in the Big 12.

“He throws a ball that does not have much height to it, meaning it arrives in a hurry,” Rhoads said. “If you allow him to get in a rhythm, he’s really going to hurt you. If you give him easy throws they’re going to take them all afternoon long and then throw that one over your head when you panic.”

Rhoads also said that he expects Texas Tech to work their run game on Nov. 8. The Cyclones are surrendering 244.6 yards on the ground through nine games, including 32 touchdowns. The only Big 12 team with worse numbers is Texas Tech, who is giving up 260.3 rushing yards per game. 

By ground or by air, ISU safety Kamari Cotton-Moya said the defense is preparing for wealth of playmakers that Texas Tech has at its disposal. Cotton-Moya is also hoping for a little help from the Cyclone faithful if the freshman Mahomes ends up under center. 

“They both have similar tendencies that they both play with, but one [Mahomes] is much younger and I’m sure the fan base here will get inside his head,” Cotton-Moya said.