Can Iowa State’s offense keep things moving in the right direction for a third straight game? We examine the three biggest keys on the offense, a defensive star in the making, and how great the field goal kicker is for our five Cyclones to watch against Oklahoma this Saturday.
More from Football
- Iowa State football: DeVondrick Nealy, Tad Ecby leave the program
- National Signing Day 2015: Iowa State picks up stealth RB from California
- Iowa State football: 2015 National Signing Day tracker
- Iowa State football recruiting: Cyclones gain 3-star Kansas OT commitment
- Iowa State football recruiting: Cyclones pick up Florida defensive tackle
QB Sam Richardson (#12, 6-foot-2, 221 lbs., R-Jr)
How cool has Richardson been as of late? It always seems that he’s due for a costly throw and some inaccurate passes, but he’s doing so much better hitting his receivers. As he’s delivering the ball more accurately, the big trio of receivers — Allen Lazard, D’Vario Montgomery, and E.J. Bibbs — have seen ramped-up production. That’s going to be the key for this offense down the stretch.
RB Aaron Wimberly (#2, 5-foot-9, 177 lbs., Sr.)
Isn’t it funny about how passing the ball successfully creates bigger holes in the defense for the running backs? Wimberly couldn’t take advantage when he sat out against Tulsa, but he did against Texas and it led to a 100-yard game. Oklahoma has done a decent job at stopping the run this year, but let’s hope Wimberly’s confidence and health is back to a point where can be a 100-yard threat again, or be productive in a two-hit punch with DeVondrick Nealy.
TE E.J. Bibbs (#11, 6-foot-3, 264 lbs., Sr.)
Oct 11, 2014; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones tight end E.J. Bibbs (11) in action against the Toledo Rockets at Jack Trice Stadium. Iowa State defeated Toledo 37-30. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
Iowa State’s tight end is living up to his lofty preseason expectations. Of the power five conferences, Bibbs leads with 32 catches and 6 touchdowns with his 263 total yards. Most of that production has come in the last three games, and the Cyclones can’t afford it to slow down anytime soon.
SS T.J. Mutcherson (#4, 5-foot-11, 201 lbs., R-So)
The secondary didn’t have its best game against Texas, but both Mutcherson and Nigel Tribune led the way with nine tackles each, and Mutcherson even forced a fumble that Jevohn Miller picked up and ran back for six points. Mutcherson has recorded 17 tackles in his last two games and is now second on the team in total tackles.
PK Cole Netten (1, 6-foot-1, 214 lbs., R-So)
There are only five kickers in the nation that have attempted more than seven field goals and are still perfect. Netten has netted eight kicks and he’s made plenty of Cyclone fans forget the constant woes when it came to field goal kicking.
…OK, so Netten’s production doesn’t erase botching field goals that could have given the Cyclones a Big 12 North victory in the middle of the first decade of the 2000’s. But he’s still money and will likely be necessary to kick some big FGs if Iowa State makes it a competition against Oklahoma.
- WR Jarvis West – He’s been hobbled with injuries in the past month, but he’s back to full speed according to Paul Rhoads. How will he now fit in with the passing offense that has three established big targets?
- SLB/N Jared Brackens – It hasn’t been confirmed whether him or Drake Ferch will start, but Brackens should get a lot of playing time regardless.