|Richardson to Start Oklahoma State Game|
by Trey Scott of AllCyclones.com, October 22, 2013 at 1:28 pm ET
Sam Richardson Profile
Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads put what was shaping to be a week-long quarterback controversy to bed on Tuesday, saying the Cyclones would start Sam Richardson on Saturday against No. 19 Oklahoma State (5-1, 2-1 Big 12).
"I'd love Sam Richardson to start the game and play extremely well and not even have to think about [playing backup Grant Rohach]," Rhoads said.
Richardson has started every game for Iowa State this season despite a sprained right ankle which has limited his ability to not only scramble but to also throw a consistent deep ball, as the ankle is uncomfortable to plant off of. But he didn't suffer any hits in the 71-7 loss to Baylor that worsened the injury.
"Sam's knowledge [of the game] is ahead of Grant's," Rhoads said. "That's an important factor and will remain an advantage."
Rohach, a redshirt freshman from California, replaced Richardson midway through the second quarter. Neither put up an inspiring stat line: Richardson completed 50 percent of his passes (7-for-14) for 68 yards and an interception, Rohach completed 61.5 percent of his throws (8-for-13) for 65 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
The ESPN metric Total QBR, which takes every play and its context into account, assigned Richardson a 35.1 rating out of 100. Rohach earned a dispiriting 1.2 QBR. For comparison's sake, Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty received a 96.1 rating while his backup Seth Russell graded out with a 96.6 score.
On the season Richardson is completing 56.8 percent of his passes (108-for-190) for 1,255 yards, an average of 6.61 yards per attempt. He has 10 touchdowns and five interceptions and has been sacked 20 times. His adjusted QBR of 52.6 is a good notch lower than his earned QBR last season, 62.8.
As the Cyclones continue to operate with an in-flux offensive line amid their worst start since 2007, Rhoads made the decision there's too much wrong offensively to throw in a green signal-caller.