True freshman get in on the action
Throw out the redshirts for freshman receiver Jauan Wesley and running back Martinez Syria. Iowa State sent both youngsters to the field Saturday night, ensuring both will not redshirt and will see plenty of action in the season’s final eight games.
Syria’s time on the field — which came late in the first half — didn’t come as a total surprise after the 6-foot, 205-pound back appeared on the depth chart for the first time Monday after redshirt sophomore Rob Standard left the team to focus on graduating early. Syria ultimately had eight carries for 15 yards.
“We’ve had struggles with short-yardage [and] we don’t have a back at his physical stature that’s an upper-classmen,” coach Paul Rhoads said of the decision. “So we moved ahead and he’ll be part of a rotation.”
The move to burn Wesley’s redshirt, meanwhile, comes as the injury bug continues to strike the Iowa State offense. After top playmaker Quenton Bundrage went down for the season with a torn ACL four plays into the year, P.J. Harris fractured his leg against Iowa and Brett Medders tore his ACL this past week in practice. Enter Wesley, who Rhoads said was next up.
“We’ve got three wide receivers in our two-deep that have been lost for the season through three ballgames,” Rhoads said. “We need receivers, so we made that decision that Jauan was the next man ready to go and he’s out there and you’ll see him the rest of the season.”
Richardson learns from odd passing mistake
With Iowa State trailing 14-7 early in the second quarter and driving toward midfield, quarterback Sam Richardson was flushed from the pocket.
The right-armed Richardson rolled left to avoid the sack, but made a costly mistake from there when he switched the ball to his left hand and attempted to throw the ball to the dirt. Instead, the ambidextrous play ended up in Baylor defender Orion Stewart’s hands for the interception. Baylor scored 52 seconds later as part of 21 unanswered points to close out the first half.
“I said, ‘Let’s laugh at how stupid of a play that was.’ And we did,” coach Paul Rhoads said. “Then, ‘Let’s not make that play again and let’s keep the right attitude and go out the next time we step on the field and continue to lead this offense.’”
“ It was a stupid play. Obviously something I’ll have to learn from,” Richardson added. “I couldn’t help but laugh at it walking off the field. It was just dumb.”