Nov 22, 2014; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones head coach Paul Rhoads watches from the sidelines against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Jack Trice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
There’s a lot of blame that can be spread around for the 2-10 season, and coaching definitely gets a lot of it. Paul Rhoads is facing the most heat he’s ever had as Iowa State’s head coach, and for good reason. The team never was able to pour water on the dumpster fire, and it didn’t help that a lot of play calling was questionable.
Iowa State was way too conservative to have an up-tempo offense. They would go three-and-out multiple times and put their defense in tough positions. It’s not an excuse to bail out the terrible defense that gave up over 6,000 yards this season, but it’s a reason why it was so bad.
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Even when bowl hopes were over, Rhoads would always take the conservative approach and punt the ball or kick field goals instead of going for it on fourth down. What’s the point in that? You’re two-and-awful this season, give the kids something to get excited about.
Of course, many of these situations could have been prevented if Iowa State had better starts. And in 10 of these games, it felt like the Cyclones weren’t even ready for the game. This also was the first season where we’ve seen the team quit on the field, and it was very noticeable that they all wanted the season to be over with against TCU.
However, it was just year one for the offense in the Mark Mangino era. They don’t have a lot of time, but it looks like they’ll have another chance to get it right as Jamie Pollard didn’t can them after the season ended with a whimper against TCU. Whether you as a fan wanting Paul Rhoads and company here or not next year is one thing, but we can all agree that next season will be the final straw in what looked to be a promising tenure.
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