With an 0-5 start in Big 12 play and picking up their seventh loss of the season, the Iowa State football team assured themselves of staying home on the holidays. That was expected to be the case after injuries and inexperience have plagued this team throughout the entire year.
Here’s five things we learned from the loss in Manhattan.
1. It’s time to completely focus on the future.
With nothing to play for, it’s time for Paul Rhoads to put in younger players that work the hardest in practice. It may also be a smart move to pull Sam Richardson for good and give as much experience to Grant Rohach. If Aaron Wimberly is able to go, it might be a good move to use him sparingly and give more time to DeVondrick Nealy.
2. Grant Rohach needs more playing time.
There’s no reason to throw Sam Richardson out there anymore. Rohach clearly needs it with a number of interceptions on Saturday being on him staring down his receivers. But he definitely shows signs of potential and mobility, which is key to the offense the Cyclones have set up. Richardson can use this time to get healthy and compete for the starting position again.
3. This team just isn’t any good.
Don’t point the finger at anyone specific or make any excuses. Iowa State just has an awful football team. They haven’t quit, and they’re still fighting on Saturdays, but there’s jut not enough talent on the field to be competitive in the Big 12.
4. Wally Burnham should be on the hot seat.
For those that want to be concerned about something, it’s this defense. Shades of actual competence can’t overshadow how badly this team can’t stop the run. How many times have the opposing running back burst through the line being untouched? There is absolutely no excuse for it at any level. This defense is not prepared on Saturdays and they could barely tackle football players made out of paper mache. It’s a humongous glare that needs to be addressed.
5. Kansas State has turned the corner.
Offensively, the Wildcats have struggled which has led to a losing record going into the game, but the defense has always been impressive this season. Now both their quarterbacks, along with John Hubert, are starting to gel. The offense isn’t turning it over, and the defense has gained six turnovers in the last two games. This team will be going bowling in December, and the Cyclones were completely outmatched going into this game.