For the first time in the Iowa State football team’s depth chart this season, freshman quarterback Grant Rohach is listed as the starter for the upcoming game against the TCU Horned Frogs.
Jim Nelson from the WCF Courier reports that despite Rohach listed first, head coach Paul Rhoads said that nothing is certain and that Sam Richardson could still start during his press conference on Monday.
Rhoads, for his part, spent a good portion of his weekly press conference talking about the decision, and said despite Rohach being listed at No. 1, he wouldn’t be surprised if Richardson took the first snaps Saturday when Iowa State hosts TCU at 11 a.m. at Jack Trice Stadium in its 101st homecoming game.
However, despite Richardson being hobbled since the Cyclones’ season-opener with Northern Iowa, this is the first time Rohach has been listed ahead of Richardson on the depth chart. It is also the first time ISU coaches have given extra thought to starting Rohach.
Rohach received playing time in the last three games. During relief of Richardson, the freshman quarterback has completed 31 of 60 passes for 250 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions. He also has 21 carries for a net gain of 14 yards; that’s the third-most attempts on the team per game, behind Aaron Wimberly and Richardson.
Rhoads gave us the hint that it may not have been just the injuries that led him to pull Richardson out of the game.
“It is the decision-making that hadn’t gotten us to where we needed to be in position to be knotted up 10-10 or something to that effect,” Rhoads said of last Saturday’s switch. [Nelson, WCF]
I’ve already detailed my thought on Rohach being the starter, and it makes sense. Are Richardson’s nagging injuries keeping him from igniting the offense or is he just bad? It’s not worth finding out with a lost season, especially being hurt. Both quarterbacks need playing time under their belt, but it’s a smarter decision to go with a healthier player under center.