In the last two seasons, Big 12 teams (not including Iowa State) have completed 63 percent of their passes in league games. The Cyclones connected on 55.1 percent last fall and 50.4 percent in 2011.
The Cyclone season record for completion percentage is 62.1 percent, set in 2001. Six Big 12 schools bettered that mark a year ago.
Many of today’s college offenses execute short passing games that rely on a high completion percentage to compliment the run game. Dropped passes and wild throws will bog things down.
Completing passes is an area where the Iowa State offense hopes to improve.
Coach Paul Rhoads recently quizzed offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham about Sam Richardson’s progress. He wanted to know how QB position – through a week of camp – compared to Rhoads’ first four years as head coach.
“We truly believe we’re ahead at that position,” Rhoads said of his visit with Messingham. “(Sam) he’s a smart football player, he’s throwing the ball with good accuracy and his running ability isn’t to be overshadowed.”
Rhoads has observed a different Richardson this fall.
“We’ve had a lot of days in 7-on-7 drills where we’ve thrown and caught passes and that is encouraging,” Rhoads said. “(Sam) throws the ball on time and he throws it accurately to our guys.”
It’s likely not a team goal, but early returns suggest that school completion percentage record could be in jeopardy. And, that would certainly be a big step toward igniting the Cyclone offense this fall.