Press Coverage: Week 3

As Iowa State begins Cy-Hawk week, it does so dealing with another season-ending injury and continuing to search for some offensive answers

Cyclones lose Peters for the season

The hits kept coming during the weekend as Iowa State lost top special teams performer Levi Peters for the season.

“Levi Peters, after he tore his Achilles, battled a defender 15 yards on an Achilles tendon rupture [and] then threw him off him to help try to get involved in the play,” coach Paul Rhoads said. “That’s courage and toughness.”

Peters underwent surgery Monday, and his season-ending status adds to a list that already includes receiver Quenton Bundrage and offensive lineman Ben Loth in addition to offensive lineman Jacob Gannon quitting the team last week.

While Peters was primarily used on special teams, he has become known in recent season’s as the unit’s leader.

“It’s a huge loss,” linebacker Jevohn Miller said. “As far as energy it’s going to be a big loss and I’m going to be looking for someone to step up. I’ll probably take some of that role myself before special teams [goes on the field], getting them a little more hyped out there, because he usually does that. We all just need to step up now and bring more energy to the field for him.”

Offense searching for second half answers

The Iowa State offense found its rhythm in the first half Saturday, but the search continues this week for second half production.

Through the team’s first two games, the offense has scored 35 first half points, but has been blanked following halftime.

“Is it all about adjustments? No,” Rhoads said. “A lot of it is execution, a lot of it is long fields, which we’ve been in [during] second halves in the first two games. We had more momentum in the first game than we did the second game and got some first downs. We got across midfield and this or that stalled us.”

The Cyclones scored 21 points on offense in the first half Saturday on 184 yards. While the offense managed 135 yards in the second half, it came away with no points as the offense stalled multiple times near midfield.

“I think just continuing the drives [is the key],” quarterback Sam Richardson said. “For the most part in the drives in the second half we started well but couldn’t really finish the drives. They kind of seemed to stall at midfield. I think for the most part it was the third-and-shorts, the fourth-and-shorts. We’ve got to convert those.”

Search for running game continues

Paul Rhoads made a point to talk about Iowa State’s running game Saturday after the Cyclones managed 105 yards on 37 carries for a 2.8 yards-per-carry average.

“Running the ball successful comes down to two primary things — there’s more that goes into it than two primary things — but you’ve got to block well and runners got to run well,” Rhoads said. “And overall we’re not doing a good enough job of getting that accomplished right now.”

Overall, Iowa State has 63 carries for 207 yards through the season’s first two games, an average of 3.29 yards per carry.

“I think it’s something you’ve got to stick with throughout a game and I think that’s something we did against K-State,” Richardson said. “We stuck with it even when they were hitting us for losses and for short gains. Obviously [we] just have to stay persistent with it and we’ll get the rush yards that we need.”

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