Iowa State actually lost to Kansas in football. Kansas! Here’s five takeaways from the horrible display in Lawrence on Saturday.
1. We know why Sam Richardson was the clear starter at the beginning of the season.
I was dead wrong in thinking that Grant Rohach needed to come in during the middle of the season. I’ll cut him a little slack because he was thrown into a start with Richardson being forced out due to injury, but he was really indecisive at times. Running around in circles in the pocket only to get hit and lose the football is not even acceptable in high school. He also held on to the ball way too long on multiple plays.
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2. Slow starts are ending these games early.
There’s no way this team can think they can win when they’re down by two touchdowns in the first quarter. If the Cyclones want to be an up-tempo offense, the only way it works is when teams have an early lead. That forces pressure on the opponent’s offense to score, not the other way around like it has been for way too many weeks.
3. Iowa State has the worst rush defense in the nation.
They have now let multiple rushers have over 100-yard performances in the last two games. If they aren’t dead last in rushing yards allowed per game now, they will be by the end of the season.
4. Injuries are a part of the problem, and it’s not an excuse.
Some fans love to throw around “enough with the excuses,” and injuries are always a touchy subject. When you lose your starting quarterback and Kansas picks on a hurt Nigel Tribune, it’s reasons, and not excuses, that pile in to why they lost. It’s not the full reason, but it’s part of the big picture.
Nov 8, 2014; Lawrence, KS, USA; Iowa State Cyclones head coach Paul Rhoads on the sidelines against the Kansas Jayhawks in the first half at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
5. The ongoing Paul Rhoads job security debate will kill us all.
For the rest of the season, it’s going to be an ongoing war between the vocal minority that has had their fill of Paul Rhoads and the majority of the fanbase that still has support with him. It’s really clear what the situation is now. It can’t get worse after losing to Kansas. Rhoads will have one year left to right the ship, and if there’s another season even close to this, he’s out.
Why isn’t Rhoads getting axed now? Multiple reasons. He’s reeled in the fanbase and sold out games. He’s one of the reasons why Jack Trice Stadium is getting expanded. He retooled his coaching staff after last season’s extreme disappointment. Again people, three-fourths of the fanbase is still in support. Attendance will likely dwindle next year if Rhoads comes back, but not enough to permit a change.
Want to accuse me of “defending” Rhoads? Take it up with the fanbase too. Why in the world would I defend Rhoads when I want a better product on the field? Doesn’t make a lot of sense, but the anger and vitriol of some fans on something they can’t even control doesn’t make a lot of sense to me either.