There are still three games of the season left, meaning there are still three games Iowa State football can win. Hoping for the normal quarterback to start, utilizing the offense’s best weapon, and giving the crowd a show are all a part of the Cyclones’ goal to get their first victory in Big 12 play.
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1. Prepare for a shootout
Both Iowa State and Texas Tech represent the worst overall defenses in the Big 12. Not even a Buffalo-sized snowstorm would help these defenses stop a thing at this point. Make sure all the numbers work on the scoreboard, because a lot of them are going up.
2. Keep fingers crossed for Sam B. Richardson’s return
We were all sure that Richardson would be back under center, but then he comes out of the locker room in warm-ups and doesn’t play. Like Texas Tech, Kansas can’t really stop the run, and without a mobile quarterback that provides most of Iowa State’s running game, that’s something the Cyclones absolutely need.
Oct 11, 2014; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones wide receiver Allen Lazard (5) hauls in a pass against the Toledo Rockets at Jack Trice Stadium. Iowa State defeated Toledo 37-30. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
3. Prepare for wet weather
Good news: Expect it to be above freezing on Saturday. Bad news: It’s going to rain. Temperatures are luckily climbing out of the frozen depths as the week progresses, but we don’t know when the rain is going to hit on Saturday. As of now, the best chance will happen right after the game, but the players must prepare for the weather — they’ve been lucky all season outside of the frozen morning game against Oklahoma.
4. Throw the ball to Allen Lazard a lot
The leading receiver is the biggest target on the field. He’ll also probably beat his coverage a lot, so regardless of who’s actually under center, just throw the ball to him. Iowa State should set goals of double-digit catches, going over the century mark in receiving yards, and getting not just one, but two touchdowns.
5. Give something the crowd will cheer about
Reward the faithfuls that stuck around during Thanksgiving break and made it to the football game. I’d actually expect crowds of well below the standard average set in the Paul Rhoads era (mainly because of the break more than the product on the field). Give the people who show up a great game.
Show some life on defense, and if the defense can’t do anything, hopefully the offense can score 40 points. Have another slow start like most games and the crowd that shows up will do nothing but boo, and it would be deserved.