Press Coverage: Week 6

Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads talked to the media Monday as the Cyclones prepare to travel to Stillwater, Okla. to face Oklahoma State on Saturday

Offense still searching for E.J. Bibbs

E.J. Bibbs headed to Dallas this summer for Big 12 Media Day and sat under the bright lights as a face of the Iowa State offense and a selection to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team at tight end.

Since then, Bibbs has battled to match the production from last season that vaulted him into the spotlight. Per a source, Bibbs had been battling injuries in Fall Camp and entering the season, and the Ames Tribune reported Monday that the senior underwent meniscus surgery in August.

After bringing in 39 catches for 462 yards last season, both ranked second on the team behind Quenton Bundrage, Bibbs has 11 catches for 88 yards and one touchdown through the first four games this season.

The meniscus injury has slowed Bibbs, but so too have opposing defenses.

“We’d like people to not double-team him and bracket him and so forth to give us an opportunity [to get him the ball],” coach Paul Rhoads said. “They’ve done a nice job of defending him. With better opportunities we will get him the ball more. He’s very much a part of the package and he’s very much a targeted receiver.

JUCO players beginning to make an impact

Iowa State has begun to see more of an impact from its junior college transfers, highlighted by starting defensive end Trent Taylor.

Taylor has seen more action since Mitchell Meyers moved inside to defensive tackle and has nine tackles and one sack on the season. Also benefitted by the move has been defensive end Dale Pierson, who has become a larger part of the rotation.

“I think as we’ve finished up Game 4, [the JUCOs are] starting to emerge a little bit more,” Rhoads said. “Trent is certainly getting the most work moving Mitchell inside. He was further along in August and that shows right now. Dale got 20-something snaps in the game [Saturday] and that was fun to see. He’s probably further ahead as a pass-rusher than he is in other areas.”

Defensive back Qujuan Floyd has seen more action in the last two games and was a more integral part of the defense Saturday against Baylor. Other JUCOs could continue to emerge as the Cyclones move into the next third of their schedule.

“Qujuan the last two games has showed up for us and will continue to show up for us,” Rhoads said. “Other guys aren’t getting on the field as much because of who they’re behind or whatever the situation [is], but now as we head into the next two-thirds of the season I think those guys will surface more.”

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