EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a submission from Brian Voss, who currently writes for the Iowa State Daily and is a co-host for KURE Sports. Voss will be a new addition to Clones Confidential, follow him on Twitter. Want to write for the site? Get what you need to know here.
Iowa State has been battered with injuries throughout this football season. The list includes Jacob Gannon, Shaban Dika, Tom Farniok, Ethan Tuftee, Kyle Lichtenberg, Bob Graham, Jamison Lalk, Sam Richardson, Aaron Wimberly, Justin Coleman, Ernst Brun, E.J. Bibbs, Ben Boesen, Jarvis West, Jansen Watson, and now Luke Knott.
Knott might be out for the season with a hip and groin injury. Coach Paul Rhoads said Knott needs surgery; it’s just a matter of if that surgery happens now or after the end of the season.
Jevohn Miller currently sits behind Luke Knott of the depth chart, and will more than likely get the start if Knott can’t play on Saturday. Miller, a junior who never redshirted, had 10 tackles on Saturday’s game against Oklahoma State.
Throughout the season, Luke Knott has been generally more productive than Miller. Miller got the start against UNI in Iowa State’s season opener. UNI scored 3 first half touchdowns before Miller was pulled for Knott. After Knott came in, the Cyclones only surrendered one touchdown. Both Miller and Knott played roughly half the game.
In Miller’s last three starts, the Cyclone defense has surrendered over 850 yards rushing. 317 yards against Tulsa in last season’s bowl game, 199 yards against UNI, and 342 yards this last Saturday against Oklahoma State.
Miller’s lack of progression as a linebacker has been somewhat disappointing. He sat behind Jake Knott for the better part of two seasons, and got a decent amount of playing time last year after Knott’s injury.
Luke Knott is clearly the better football player. He’s faster than Miller, appears to be in position more often, and is clearly better in pass coverage.
Anyone who has watched Iowa State football this year and last knows Miller alone is not the whole problem on the defense. Saturday’s game against Oklahoma State brought an array of missed tackles from every position on defense.
Regardless, for the Cyclones’ defense to play better and look like the typical Wally Burnham defense fans have grown to love, Miller needs to look more like the player fans hoped for when he committed to the Cyclones.