Iowa State football: Paul Rhoads addresses running back struggles


Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads talked to the media about his initial impression on Oklahoma State’s backup quarterback, how much the Cyclones running attack has struggled, quick thoughts on Charlie Weis being fired from Kansas, and a plea to opponents covering E.J. Bibbs in his weekly press conference.

More from Football

Here were the highlights of the press conference heading into the game against Oklahoma State.

— Rhoads’ first reaction to Oklahoma State QB Daxx Garman“a very good football player that can throw the deep ball. That’s scary.” Garman was the Big 12 offensive player of the week after leading the Cowboys to a 45-35 victory over Texas Tech last Thursday.

— The running game was non-existent outside of Sam Richardson‘s scrambles, but the coach didn’t really want to “beat a dead horse.” His thoughts: “We all know that we’re not running the football well enough as a team. There’s a lot of things that contribute to that and we’re working to improve it.”

— That dead horse was hit again a few minutes later in the press conference. Rhoads reiterated that it was frustrating to see that Richardson was the lead rusher on the team, and “not by design.” He puts blame toward the whole offensive side, not just the line. Receivers and tight ends are a part of it too, and the running backs just need to do better.

— Could we be seeing more Martinez Syria? Because of his size (6-foot, 205 lbs), Rhoads talked about ‘scheming” some plays with him involved to boost the running game.

— Receivers are looking more comfortable in their routes, and Rhoads believes “14 or 21 points” could have been left on the field because not every throw was accurate.

— Rhoads hasn’t had much time to react to the firing of Charlie Weis at Kansas, but he believes it’s pretty early to make a judgement on a leader of the football team.

— Oklahoma State’s enclosed stadium could make it very tough for Rhoads to talk to his football team. While they aren’t doing anything specific to prepare for Boone Pickens Stadium, the coach talks about adding annoying speakers to help prevent pre-snap penalties. They did a pretty good job handling adversity in Kinnick Stadium this year, so whatever they’re doing is working.

— Coverage on E.J. Bibbs has contributed to the tight end’s slow start to the season. Rhoads asks opponents to stop double teaming him so they can use him more.

Click here to view the entire press conference.