ISU football will rebound with confidence against Kansas


Redshirt junior quarterback Sam Richardson runs the ball against Oklahoma on Nov .1 at Jack Trice Stadium. The Cyclones suffered their 16th straight loss to the Sooners with a final score of 59-14. The Cyclones allowed 751 yards of offense to Oklahoma.

Beau Berkley

Call it a step back, call it a fluke, call it whatever. Everyone who watched ISU football’s game against Oklahoma on Nov. 1 knows the offense didn’t show up. 

Now, as a game with fellow bottom of the barrel Big 12 foe Kansas approaches this Nov. 8, Iowa State has a strong shot at earning its first conference win. First, they have to regroup. And maybe they’re getting a little too used to that for ISU coach Paul Rhoads’ liking. 

“We’re getting too much practice at it [regrouping] I can say that,” Rhoads said. “This group has always bounced back well if you will. [On] Saturday, the post game team meeting is the chance to start on that. I’ve always looked at it as an opportunity to put one under the covers and get started on the next week and I think we did that.”

In other words, gone but not forgotten is Nov. 1 performance against Oklahoma.

Undoudtedly itching to get back on the field against Kansas is ISU quarterback Sam Richardson. After coming off of back-to-back 300 yard passing performances against Toledo and Texas, Richardson and his receivers looked lost and out of sync against Oklahoma as Richardson completed only 15 out of his 40 passes.

“I’m excited about seeing him get back on the field and I don’t know if redeem is the right choice of words, but nobody was more displeased with how the offense played, how the team played than Sam was,” Rhoads said.”He’ll be chopping through preparation to get to 2:30 on Saturday.”

Rhoads attributed part of Oklahoma’s success on defense to a few strategic changes the Sooners made during their two weeks to prepare for Iowa State. 

Oklahoma had been blitzing at about 20 percent coming into Nov. 1, Rhoads said, and against Iowa State they blitzed almost 60 percent of the time. Dealing with pressure in the backfield might not be something Iowa State is planning on worrying about, as Kansas is tied with Iowa State at 11 for the lowest sack total in the Big 12.

But that doesn’t mean Iowa State will be able to look past Kansas by any means, as they sport one of the best linebackers in the Big 12 in Ben Heeney, who averages 12.2 tackles a game. Heeney also had 21 tackles against Texas Tech on Oct. 18, a league high thus far in the season. 

Despite being near the bottom in most statistical team categories, Kansas has had its moments this year, specifically a near upset of then No. 16 Oklahoma State. The Jayhawks tied the game at 20-20 with 6:55 left to play before the Cowboys took a kick off back for a touchdown. 

“They’re a lot better than people give them credit for, I know that,” said linebacker Luke Knott.

Iowa State plays Kansas at 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 8 at Lawrence, Kan.