Cyclones boast of multiple play makers

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The Iowa State football staff has been looking for offensive player makers since their arrival three seasons ago.

Playmakers make big-yardage gains, but equally important, playmakers make first downs.

Through three games, the Cyclones are converting 46.4% on third down, 38th best nationally. A year ago, ISU ranked 78th in the NCAA in that category.

The chief playmaker has been quarterback Steele Jantz. He has converted big plays with both his feet and his arm. That dual threat is what makes him special.

Nine of the third-down conversions to date have been long-yardage (at least seven yards) situations. Four of those “long” conversions were runs and five were passes.

The most-memorable conversion, no doubt, came one play after a long TD pass against Iowa was called back for holding. Jantz rallied his huddle and on third-and-20 hit Darius Reynolds on a 40-yard pass to keep a scoring drive alive.

Additionally, the Cyclones are perfect on five fourth-down attempts this season and several of those have produced scores.

When you consider that eight different Cyclones, including Jantz, have accounted for third-down conversions this fall it appears that Paul Rhoads and staff have identified a number of playmakers.

That bodes well as conference play starts in just more than a week.

Reader feedback is welcome at 2minutetimeout@iastate.edu. You can also follow me on Twitter at: twitter.com/SteveMalchow

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