Cyclones have shown signs of explosive play in the last two weeks and, hopefully, more is on the way.


In a league full of playmakers, Iowa State has continued to search for players and plays that get big chunks of yardage.

Coach Paul Rhoads said Monday that he saw signs of explosive plays against Oklahoma, the Big 12’s top-rated defense in yards allowed (312.9).

“We were operating in space and we finally made some people miss,” Rhoads said. “We haven’t made a lot of people miss this season. If we block a run for six, we gain six or seven. If we throw a pass at the eight-yard mark, we get eight or 10.”

Iowa State had seven plays (four – offense, one – defense, two – special teams) of at least 20 yards against the Sooners. That tied a season best, set earlier at TCU. Two games ago against Baylor, the Cyclones had five offensive plays of at least 20 yards.

“Explosive teams, a component (of that) is making people miss,” Rhoads said. “We did that a little bit Saturday (vs. OU) against very good players.”

ISU’s season leaders for explosive plays are Jarvis West (seven), Aaron Horne (seven), James White (six) and Josh Lenz (four). West’s emergence started two weeks ago and White and Lenz are just returning to full health.

With the league’s sixth, eighth and ninth ranked defenses left on the schedule, perhaps more explosive plays are just around the corner. It would be a welcome sight for Rhoads.

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