Here are the highlights from the Paul Rhoads press conference heading into the third game of the season against the Iowa Hawkeyes. Rhoads discusses the quick return of Tom Farniok, what he thinks about the running game so far, and the struggles of the offense in the second half.
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— Rhoads reiterated that linebacker and special teams player Levi Peters will not be with the team for the remainder of the season. He had surgery today on his torn Achilles’ tendon.
— The head coach focused on two things that’s most improved on Sam Richardson: being patient in the pocket and his throwing accuracy. Richardson threw 14 straight completions against Kansas State last week. Despite a few throws being errand, it’s improved over the first part of last season when he was playing consistently.
— Confidence is much higher after this week, and Rhoads talked about that being improved with both the players and coaches.
— Rhoads acknowledges adversity, but questions how much they really have faced. But similar to Mark Mangino’s stance, he’s more focused on how they face adversity. So far, he believes they have done it well.
— Moving Jevohn Miller from Will to Mike “made the team better” and it should remain that way even though Miller is still listed as the starter at weak-side linebacker on the depth chart.
— Not only is Iowa’s front four a concern on defense, but Rhoads believes “their entire defense” is one. Personally, he likes to watch it as a defensive guy.
— Rhoads didn’t expect Jevohn Miller to step up and be a leader, but he saw the progression during the summer. Miller “was mart enough to take advantage of that.”
— Allen Lazard, Robby Garcia, and Jake Campos are “productive”, but they aren’t “fast” yet. Rhoads is still pleased with what he’s seen out of them early on. Speed is simply something that will be obtained with more playing time.
— Rhoads wants more ball distribution than what happened against Kansas State. While it’s fun to see Jarvis West do his thing, the team can’t lock on to just one player.
— There’s two primary things that comes down to a successful running game: “You got to block well, and the runner’s got to run well.” Rhoads believes neither of those are happening well enough yet for this team to succeed. Ball carriers also have to make defenders miss.
— Rhoads wasn’t surprised in Tom Farniok’s fast recovery. Farniok led the way for the offensive line, and was a huge difference in offensive production from the first week to last week.
— Problems with second-half scoring can be attributed to long fields the Cyclone offense has faced and not having the same momentum from the first half carry over into the second half.
— Favorite Cy-Hawk memory? For Rhoads, it’s in 1998 when the series became a rivalry again.
Best quote of the press conference:
"“Well, if I told you that, Tommy, then a lot of people would know wouldn’t they? So I probably won’t tell you.”— Paul Rhoads on Tommy’s question about how he will utilize Aaron Wimberly and DeVondrick Nealy."
Quote source: Cyclones.com press conference video