Press Coverage: Week 10

Coming off a bye week, Iowa State prepares for No. 19 Oklahoma with a healthier Jarvis West and on the lookout for improvement from its defensive unit

West returns to “full speed”

Keeping speedster Jarvis West on the field as of late has been a difficult task for Iowa State, but he will be full-go when No. 19 Oklahoma arrives in Ames this weekend.

West, who has dealt with a left foot injury this season, returned against Texas after missing the Toledo game, but he saw limited action when the foot was reinjured on a punt return. Iowa State has tried various remedies and has altered the way it deals with padding in his shoe.

After sitting out practice during the team's bye week, Paul Rhoads said Monday that West was “full speed” in Sunday’s practice, which should allow Iowa State’s offense to again become more dynamic.

“Some of the things we do with Jarvis doesn’t involve the vertical passing game, it involves the horizontal passing game more,” Rhoads said. “He’s a run threat, he’s a passing threat and he’s a guy that we can get the ball quickly to and make a team respond east and west to us, more so than some of the other guys that we’ve had in the lineup.”

West has 21 receptions for 174 yards this season in six games.

Cousin not likely to play Saturday

The depth on Iowa State’s defensive line took a hit against Texas when Brandon Jensen and Robby Garcia both exited early with injuries. That was only compounded by the lack of Devlyn Cousin in uniform.

Cousin has been dealing with an elbow issue and was evaluated Thursday. Rhoads said Cousin is unlikely to play Saturday, but he wouldn’t rule him out for the remainder of the season.

“They’re going to take it day-by-day and just see how much he can tolerate and see how fast we can move him along,” Rhoads said.

Cousin is the only Iowa State player ruled out for Saturday. Jensen ended up returning in the second half against Texas, and Garcia’s health has improved.

Defense seeking improvement after rough patch

Beating Oklahoma for the first time since 1990 won’t be so much about out-gunning the Sooners as it will be stopping them.

“It’s going to take better defense to accomplish that,” Rhoads said. “It’s not about how many completions or how many points we can score offensively, it’s what we can limit them to, in my opinion.”

Rhoads said Monday he was disappointed in Iowa State’s defensive effort against Texas, in which the unit allowed 41 points in a 48-45 loss. The Cyclones surrendered 512 yards of total offense against the Longhorns.

Defensive tackle Mitchell Meyers said the defense hasn’t necessarily taken a step back as the season has progressed, but rather has lost some consistency.

“I’m not sure why,” Meyers said. “We still have that potential to be a good defense and we’ve shown that. We’ve just got to get back to what we’ve been doing and settle down a little bit.”

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