#96 Iowa State Football 2012 Preview

Iowa State Cyclones

2012 Overall Rank: #96
#10 Big 12 Conference

Iowa State College Football 2012 Preview

Iowa State Team Page


Iowa State finished with a mediocre 6-7 record a season ago, but their season will always be remembered by fans for beating both Iowa and Oklahoma State at home in overtime thrillers. Unfortunately for the Cyclones, the momentum from beating the then ranked number two team in the nation in the Oklahoma State Cowboys, did not carry over as they ended on a three game skid. In 2012 they are looking to reverse that trend.

2011 Record: (6-7, 3-6)
2011 Bowl: Pinstripe Bowl vs. Rutgers (L 13-27)
Coach: Paul Rhoads (18-20 at Iowa State, 18-20 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Courtney Messingham
Defensive Coordinator:  Wally Burnham

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: James White, RB, 819 yards
Passing: Steele Jantz, QB, 1,519 yards
Receiving: Josh Lenz, WR 510 yards
Tackles: Jake Knott, LB, 74
Sacks:  A. J. Klein, LB, 2     
Interceptions:  Jake Knott, LB, 2

Other Key Returnees:  RB Jeff Woody, DB Jeremy Reeves, WR Jarvis West

Key Losses:  DL Patrick Neal, DL Stephen Ruempolahrmer, OL Kelechi Osemele


Iowa State also has a two pronged rushing attack, spearheaded by running back James White. He is paired with fellow junior Jeff Woody to create a dangerous combination in the Cyclones backfield. They both played well as sophomores and should make strides as they enter their junior campaign, making this rushing attack stronger than it was a season ago.  
On the other side of the ball the Cyclones passing defense ranked as one of the best in the Big 12 a season ago. They ranked third in pass defense and fourth in passing efficiency.  However, compared to the rest of the nation, this unit was not overly impressive.
Iowa State also has an explosive return game, led by freshman return ace and wide receiver Jarvis West. Their kick returns netted the third best average in the conference. With a freshman leading the way a season ago, he should improve his skill set and have an even better 2012 season. Excellent field position is a key to the Cyclones game as it shortens the field, making it easier on their rather pedestrian offense to score points.

Iowa State struggled to put points on the board a season ago. Their passing offense really let them down, ranking dead last in the conference and 111th in the nation in passing efficiency. Their lack of completions created too many second and third and long situations, which doomed their offense and resulted in the Cyclones struggling mightily to put points on the scoreboard.  They also threw a lot of interceptions and their defense was unable to create turnovers themselves, leading to a poor turnover margin, one of the more important stat in football. If you have a negative turnover margin you are not going to win a lot of football games. This needs to be improved upon if Iowa State wants to be competitive in a difficult Big 12 conference.

The Bottom Line:
Iowa State was able to surprise two ranked teams at home and pull off thrilling upsets. This year they will not be taken as lightly. They need to replace a lot of talent on their defensive line but return their best linebackers, who happen to be their two best defensive players as well. This team could be much improved from a season ago, but it will be tough to repeat some of the success or miracles that they pulled out last year. Unless the Cyclones can pull another rabbit or two out of their hat they may very well end with a similar or worse record than last year.

2011 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 174.23 (39th in the nation, 6th in conference)
Passing Offense: 212.31 (73, 7)
Total Offense: 386.54 (60, 8)
Scoring Offense: 22.69 (90, 9)
Rushing Defense: 193.46 (98, 7)
Pass Defense: 234.00 (73, 3)
Total Defense: 427.46 (95, 6)
Scoring Defense: 29.83 (82, 7)
Turnover Margin: -.85 (112, 10)
Sacks: 1.31 (106, 9)
Sacks Allowed: 2.08 (68, 6)