Iowa State quarterback Grant Rohach is the predicted starter under center for 2014 thanks to his finish last season and how the offense is changing for the upcoming season.
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Similar to Sam Richardson exploding onto the scene two years ago, Rohach benefited from horrendous pass rush against Kansas and completed 15-of-20 passes in a 34-0 rout on the frozen tundra of Jack Trice Stadium’s 2013 finale. In the following week, Rohach surpassed all his season totals going 25-for-39 in the air against West Virginia, with 331 yards and 4 touchdowns in a 51-44 triple-OT victory.
One of the most impressive aspects of the win over the Mountaineers was how the Cyclones came back from a 17-point deficit in the final period. It’s an effort that showed how much the team cared until the final minute of their season, when a lot of times teams that are 2-9 entering their final game wouldn’t have cared if they were down my multiple touchdowns in the final period.
After putting up over 600 passing yards and 6 touchdowns to 2 interceptions in the final two games of the season, Rohach is hailed as the favorite to run offensive coordinator Mark Mangino’s new system. Lots of information has been held under wraps, but Iowa State will be going back toward the traditional spread formation and will make use of three wide-receiver sets with a lone tailback.
One would assume Richardson would be the actual favorite for this type of offense because he’s a dual threat quarterback, but with how fast the Cyclones want to run it, his durability comes into question. If Aaron Wimberly and DeVondrick Nealy provide enough punch in the running game, Rohach can focus solely on moving the offense utilizing the depth of the wide receivers.
Nothing is set in stone for the starting quarterback on Iowa State, at least not until August 16th, which is the date that’s expected for Paul Rhoads to make his announcement. But for right now, Rohach is and should be considered the favorite to land the job.