#75 Iowa State Football 2013 Preview

Iowa State Cyclones

Overall Rank: #75
#9 Big 12

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Coach Paul Rhoads has taken Iowa State to three bowl games in his four years at the helm. That is much better than many expect out of the Cyclones. With a schedule that again includes Iowa, Tulsa and an FCS opponent, this time Northern Iowa, there is hope for another trip to a low level bowl game. However, there are some big holes to fill on defense and major questions remain on offense.

2012 Record: (6-7, 3-6)
2012 Bowl: Liberty Bowl vs. Tulsa (L 17-31)
Coach: Paul Rhoads (24-27 at Iowa State, 24-27 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Courtney Messingham
Defensive Coordinator: Wally Burnham

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: James White, RB, 505 yards
Passing: Sam Richardson, QB, 541 yards
Receiving: Jarvis West, WR, 290 yards
Tackles: Jacques Washington, S, 90
Sacks: Willie Scott, DE, 1.0
Interceptions: Jacques Washington, S, 3

Other Key Returnees: WR Quenton Bundrage, TE Ernst Brun, C Tom Farniok, OL Ethan Tuftee, OL Kyle Lichtenberg, LB Jeremiah George, CB Jansen Watson, S Deon Broomfield

Key Losses: QB Steele Jantz, RB Shontrelle Johnson, WR Aaron Horne, WR Chris Young, WR Josh Lenz, DB Durrell Givens, LB A.J. Klein, LB Jake Knott, DB Jeremy Reeves, DE Clevon Laing

Despite ranking second to last in the Big 12 in rushing offense, Iowa State does have a couple quality backs returning. Shontrelle Johnson rushed for 504 yards, while James White bested him by one yard. Johnson needs to get healthy, and stay that way, and overcome what was a pretty disappointing 2012 campaign. White and Johnson are capable enough backs on their own, but junior college transfer Aaron Wimberly has the Cyclone faithful very excited. Wimberly is an explosive playmaker who can split out from his running back spot and get out in space. Once in space, he will always be a threat to find the end zone. Adding a playmaker like Wimberly could spark the offense in a major way. If the ground game lives up to its potential, sophomore quarterback Sam Richardson will have a much easier time stepping into a full-time starting position. In limited action as a freshman, Richardson threw for 541 yards and eight touchdowns, while being intercepted just once. He will not be able to keep that ratio up, but it is a very good sign. Some new receivers will need to be found, but tight end Ernst Brun is a big and effective target in the red zone. On the other side of the ball, the secondary is quite experienced with seniors Jansen Watson, Deon Broomfield and Jacques Washington leading the way. However, the unit does have to move on without Durrell Givens and Jeremy Reeves. Replacing Jake Knott and A.J. Klein at linebacker will be no easy task either, yet the coaching staff is high on senior Jeremiah George and will hope Jevohn Miller and Jared Brackens can effectively move into starting roles.

Despite the potential on offense and defense, both could struggle if the lines cannot do their job. The offense has to be more effective on the ground and that will not happen without improvement from the line. Seniors Kyle Lichtenberg and Ethan Tuftee, along with junior center Tom Farniok, have plenty of starting experience, yet they did not do much to help the rushing attack last season. The defense that already has major holes to fill in the back seven got very little production out of the line in 2012, ranking 112th in the nation in sacks per game with a bleak 1.15. And nobody who tallied more than one sack is back. Willie Scott will anchor the line, but the complete lack of experience and depth, which is being felt already with an injury to end David Irving, will likely result in a pretty large step back for the defense.

The Bottom Line:
The one thing that could save Iowa State’s defense is their big play ability. Both Washington and Broomfield are ball hawks in the secondary and this is a team that forced 26 turnovers. Unfortunately the offense committed exactly the same amount, but that could change with Richardson under center for the entire season. Even if it is ugly on offense and defense due to trouble in the trenches, the Cyclones can win the turnover battle and be right in the mix for yet another overachieving run to bowl eligibility.

Projected Bowl: None

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 150.08 (73rd in nation, 9th in conference)
Passing Offense: 214.08 (79, 8)
Total Offense: 364.15 (92, 9)
Scoring Offense: 24.54 (85, 9)
Rushing Defense: 176.85 (75, 6)
Pass Defense: 265.31 (99, 6)
Total Defense: 442.15 (94, 7)
Scoring Defense: 23.92 (38, 3)
Turnover Margin: 0.00 (58, 6)
Sacks: 1.15 (112, 9)
Sacks Allowed: 1.46 (35, 5)

Madness 2013 Recruit Rankings:
#220 Jake Campos


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