People wondered how Iowa State’s offense would be different this fall with a new offensive coordinator. Paul Rhoads was asked for his opinion frequently during camp. He normally stated his preference for a run-first offense. Through three games, the Cyclones have run for 175 yards per game, and Rhoads wants more. “History shows that if we’re above 200 yards rushing, we are pretty tough to beat,” Rhoads, who is 10-3 when his club gains at least 200 on the ground, said. “That’s where I’d like to climb.” The reason for his preference to have a good ground game is simple. “Any time you’re running it for 200 yards, you are hanging onto the ball, wearing folks down and giving the defense an opportunity,” he said. “In this league, you’ve got to do that.” Rhoads’ teams have averaged 168.1 yards rushing over three-plus years. The prior six seasons, ISU gained 122.9 yards on the ground. That 40-plus yard increase indicates something else. Rhoads has likely favored a run-first offense all along.
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