Restoring confidence is Rhoads’ top chore


Six of the first seven questions tossed at Coach Paul Rhoads during his Monday news conference were related to the playing status of Alexander Robinson.

The senior tailback hurt his foot against Utah and Rhoads said his availability this week will be a day-to-day progression and a game-day decision. If A-Rob can’t go, it would surely be a loss.

Rhoads, however, faces an even greater challenge this week and that is restoring confidence in his club with the powerful Sooners on deck. After taking an early lead on Utah Saturday night, the Cyclones surrendered 31 straight second-quarter points and “lost some spirit and energy” according to the coach.

When asked if he would approach this week any differently, Rhoads admitted the need to “talk them (the players) through it.” He said picking up the pieces is much easier said than done, but a strong Sunday workout was the first step.

“(The team) needs to play their way back into confidence,” Rhoads said.

The loss of one player – especially as significant as Robinson – is a hurdle, but Rhoads will likely spend more of the week playing on the naturally competitive instincts of his club.

In his year-and-a-half on the ISU sidelines, Rhoads has been pretty successful in getting his teams back on track. They are 5-3 after defeats.

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