Both teams will try to rebound their conference season this Saturday night at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames. Iowa State has the upper hand with a better defense, but can they get the quarterback situation solved? And will some key offensive pieces be back?
James White being down for two weeks have really hurt the Cyclones. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-US PRESSWIRE
1. Who will start at quarterback for Iowa State?
It’s been everything fans have discussed and what the media’s been asking this Cyclones football team. Paul Rhoads hit the mute button on the topic earlier this week, making it a gametime decision on who will be the quarterback.
The team obviously knows more than we do on the situation, but what’s left is much speculation. Jared Barnett will likely not make a start unless the running game is drastically improved from the previous couple weeks. Is it back to Steele Jantz, even with his inconsistencies passing the ball and has thrown more interceptions (18) than touchdowns (17) in his ISU career? Or will highly-touted freshman Sam Richardson make his first career start and first showing since appearing in the Western Illinois game?
2. Can Baylor’s defense improve?
This is how bad it’s been for Baylor on defense – opponents are scoring 44 points against them. Opponents have raked up 81 more rushing yards than the Bears total. Opponents are 93 percent successful in the red zone. They are ranked dead last in total defense in the nation, also in scoring defense, and third-to-last in pass defense. The question is with Iowa State’s three-ring circus at the quarterback position, can this team take advantage of it?
3. Where are James White and Josh Lenz?
A tremendous help to take advantage of that poor defense would be to have two key players back on offense. Both players are currently listed as “questionable” on multiple injury reports.
White hasn’t appeared in a game for two weeks, and it’s painfully shown with just 65 rushing yards against Kansas State and barely breaking the century mark against Oklahoma State. Lenz, who was the obvious player of the game against TCU, didn’t see the field last week. The Cyclones were still able to record the most receiving yards in a Big 12 game this year, but he would have been a worthy addition to the depth at receiver and may helped Barnett in his struggles throwing the ball.
Brian Spaen is the lead editor for Clones Confidential. Keep up with the latest sports fails and disdain toward the Big Ten by following him on Twitter.