It’s been a tug-of-war in spring and Rhoads probably likes that.

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Two spring football scrimmages are in the books and the spring game is on deck for Saturday. Most observers would conclude the offense excelled in the first scrimmage and the defense rebounded in the second one.

 For his entire tenure at Iowa State, Coach Paul Rhoads has been seeking big plays from his offense. Recently, he’s been focused on ball carriers making people miss. That was the case two weeks ago in the scrimmage and Rhoads singled out James White, Aaron Wimberly and DeVondrick Nealy for making explosive runs.

 Rhoads’ assessment of last week’s scrimmage was that there weren’t as many big plays.

 “I attribute that to the defense,” Rhoads said. “The defense practiced and played faster.”

 Rhoads pulled out a baseball analogy to explain the tug-of-war between offense and defense during spring camp.

 “It’s a little like pitching and hitting,” Rhoads started. “Who’s ahead and who catches up? The defense, in the third week, caught up a little bit.”

 That brought a smile to the face of the former defensive coordinator.

 “That is probably as enjoyable to see (as anything),” Rhoads said of the defense getting better at limiting big plays.

 One week the offense impressed and the next week the defense shined. That’s a good sign that the 2013 Cyclones have the potential on both sides of the ball to play winning football. The coach probably likes it that way.

 

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