Smoke & mirrors or leverage & angles: “got to fix it” Rhoads says


Whether it’s smoke and mirrors or better leverage and angles doesn’t matter to Iowa State football coach Paul Rhoads. He simply wants to see a more productive running game from his Cyclones.

“We are averaging just over 100 yards per game and our quarterback – not by design – is our top runner,” Coach Paul Rhoads said Monday. “We’ve got to fix it.”

Part of the problem has been the competition.

3rd. 13th. 16th. 6th.

Those are the national rankings of North Dakota State, Kansas State, Iowa and Baylor for rushing defense. Surprisingly, ISU gained more rushing yards than the Bison, Wildcats and Bears have given up on average. The only time that didn’t happen was vs. Iowa when the Cyclones were victorious.

More important than the opposition, however, is Iowa State’s ability to get better. That is what it can control

“We need to do a better job of blocking and that’s not just the interior five,” Rhoads said. “Our running backs need to do a better job running the football. And, you have to scheme things up sometimes when you don’t have the horses.”

ISU is 20-7 when it outgains the opponent on the ground during the Rhoads’ era. The mark is 7-32 when it is outrushed. The Cyclones are 27-26 when gaining at least 100 yards on the ground and 1-11 (the win was against Iowa this fall) when they don’t since Rhoads arrived.

“You’ve got to run the ball and defend the run if you’re going to be successful,” Rhoads said. “We all know we’re not running the ball well enough.”


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