Cyclones’ offensive line maturing and growing up as the season goes along

“We’re going to be bigger, stronger and faster next year.”Iowa State Coach Paul Rhoads

 That day can’t come soon enough.

 ISU’s starting offensive lineman vs. Oklahoma last week weighed an average of 293.8 pounds. Its lone 300 pounder was junior Jacob Gannon (listed at an even 300 pounds).

 The Cyclones’ Big 12 peers are much bigger and physically developed in the trenches.

 Check out the averages: Oklahoma State (314.8 pounds per man and 4 above 300 pounds), Baylor (314.0 and 3), Oklahoma (313.8 and 4), West Virginia (310.8 and 4), Kansas State (306.4 and 4), Kansas (306.0 and 5), Texas (305.0 and 4), Texas Tech (301.0 and 3) and TCU (301.0 and 3).

 The Cyclones are also the only league school which didn’t start a senior on the offensive line last week. Iowa State’s three sophomore starters were the most (same as Texas Tech).

 Along with the youth and injuries on the line this fall, Rhoads also discussed how a new position coach changed some techniques and messaging.

 “There are a number of things Coach (Chris) Klenakis has asked from that group (that is different) from what Bill (Bleil) did,” Rhoads said. “You’ve got 4 years of coaching (with Bill) and then 12 short practices in pads (with Chris) when an o-line gets its work done.”

 But, Rhoads has seen progress throughout the year despite using 9 different starting combinations in 10 games.

 “Pass protection… run technique,” Rhoads said. “All of that is improved.”

 And, he sees more gains coming.

 “We’ll get better … (that includes) everything that goes along with development in a program as players sequence through their years,” Rhoads said of the future.


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