Iowa State football media day recap: Position updates at quarterback, defense


Here’s all of the highlights from the 2014 Iowa State Football Media Day. We talk position updates at quarterback and defense, a comparison of last year’s schedule to this year, and what the goal for the team is this season.

More from Football

— No separation at quarterback. Grant Rohach, Sam Richardson, and Joel Lanning are all still listed as possible starters. What’s important to note though is that Richardson reportedly looked very good during a scrimmage on Saturday. Rohach was a favorite to win the job after the spring, but now that Richardson is healthy he could be winning some people back. Including the team.

Head coach Paul Rhoads reiterated during his interview that there will be a decision made at quarterback this week.

Rhoads reiterated that a postseason victory is what’s on their mind.

— Who to watch for on defense: cornerback Nigel Tribune and defensive end Cory Morrissey are the leaders of a defense that will be tested all season long. Of course, earlier this summer Morrissey said he doesn’t want to hear all the talk about how bad the defense is because the Cyclones lost five games by eight points or less. It’s great to hear, because that’s the attitude this defense needs to have.

It also helps that all the JUCOs on defense will not be redshirting, which will be a help to a very young defense otherwise.

— We still don’t know what the offense will be doing. Rhoads and company are still mum on the offense and didn’t let anything out of the bag on Sunday. We already knew back on Big 12 media days that the offense was going back to the spread, there would be three wide receiver sets with a tailback, and that it’s simple.

Nov 2, 2013; Manhattan, KS, USA; Iowa State Cyclones defensive lineman Brandon Jensen (93) pressures Kansas State Wildcats quarterback Daniel Sams (4) during the second half at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. The Wildcats defeat the Cyclones 41-7. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

 — Brandon Jensen emerges as a starter. A great story is being written on Jensen, who left the football team back in December. He will be a starter at defensive tackle beginning on Monday’s practice unlike what the depth chart currently says. This is a line that will have to perform far better overall than it did a season ago to be competitive in Big 12 games.  

 — Drake Ferch, who is a walk-on, is still number one on the depth chart at strong-side linebacker. Rhoads absolutely loves the guy.

— The schedule is a whole lot better than last season. It ultimately didn’t help to have early bye weeks to heal the team’s early injuries, and the team was sent into a Big 12 season without any weeks off. The multiple Thursday games in September also made things awkward to get into any kind of rhythm.

For the first time since 2004, Iowa State will play every game on a Saturday, and there will be three different bye weeks throughout the season. Because the Big 12 doesn’t have a championship, they utilize “championship week” and schedule games on that day, which this year the Cyclones will play on that day.

 — Still no word on the team’s punter. Holden Kramer is the only person listed on the depth chart, but Rhoads has praised Colin Downing. If you’re a betting man, it’s better to put your money on Downing, but we’ll see what happens.  

— It doesn’t matter that the Cyclones took a step back last season with three victories. The goal is the same as it always is — Rhoads reiterated that a postseason victory is what’s on their mind.