In Paul Rhoads’ weekly press conference, the Iowa State head coach believes that a number of his injured players that sat out against Toledo would be back in action on Saturday against Texas.
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Cyclones wide receiver Jarvis West injured his left foot, linebacker Drake Ferch injured his shoulder, and (more quietly) running back Aaron Wimberly injured his ankle in the loss to Oklahoma State on October 4th. While Rhoads expected West to play on Saturday, the team decided it was better to give them a rest.
"“In our opinion, we risked hurting them more,” Rhoads said of not playing them against Toledo. “They’ll be available Saturday.”"
It was a smart move by the football staff to rest them all. No offense to Toledo, but those players are worth more in Big 12 action than a non-conference game. There’s enough depth and talent on the team to let them rest and heal up. The way Texas is playing right now, Rhoads needs all his best players that are healthy to be at 100 percent.
Other press conference notes
- Rhoads won’t be forcing the up-tempo offense against Texas. It didn’t always work last week against Toledo, but when it did, the Cyclones cruised down the field. But the head coach doesn’t want to put his defense in a bad position when it doesn’t work, and that’s a smart move. Iowa State’s defense is good, but it can only do so much if it’s on the field for 35-40 minutes.
- The Big 12 is getting some love nationally. They have five teams in the top 15 of the AP poll (Baylor, Oklahoma, TCU, Kansas State, and Oklahoma State) and Rhoads noted how “impressive” it was. He also said playing Texas at any point and time “is a great opportunity.”