Press Coverage: Week 12

Iowa State enters its final bye week of the 2014 season seeking answers to many questions and with quarterback Sam Richardson on the mend

Richardson getting healthier, should return vs. Texas Tech

Sam Richardson is out of his sling, and if all goes according to plan, he’ll be back on the field at Jack Trice Stadium on Nov. 22 following this bye week.

Richardson, who took a hit late in Iowa State’s loss to Oklahoma, was unable to throw with velocity or accuracy late in the week leading up to the Cyclones’ game in Lawrence, Kan., Saturday, which Iowa State eventually lost 34-14.

Richardson was out of the sling Monday, and is expected to be at full strength by the time Iowa State enters game week preparation for Texas Tech on Sunday.

“I believe Sam is going to be back versus Texas Tech,” coach Paul Rhoads said Monday. “I saw him in the training room this morning and he was in good spirits and got good movement. The trainers feel he’ll be throwing full speed six days from now, Sunday of game week. I’m hoping Sam is healthy and remains healthy for the last three games.”

In Richardson’s place Saturday, Grant Rohach went 25-for-50 with 275 yards, throwing two touchdowns and one interception. The offense never got going, moving backwards for negative three yards in the first quarter before ultimately finishing with 373 yards of total offense in the loss.

The problems, however, didn’t rest solely at quarterback.

“There’s a lot of people that contributed to [it],” Rhoads said. “That’s not just a quarterback. There were a lot of things being done poorly by our football team throughout the first half. Could he have played better? Sure he could have.”

Cyclones have lengthy list of work

Iowa State will have an extra week of preparation as it seeks its first Big 12 win against Texas Tech, another conference foe sitting in the bottom of the standings.

The work? Well, Paul Rhoads has a list of sorts.

“Tackling, angles, wrapping up around their feet and finishing, getting off blocks, getting aligned at a faster pace, defending the deep ball, man coverage, protecting our quarterback and giving him ample time to throw, hard route running, finishing plays on both sides of the ball,” Rhoads said. “There’s a short list for you.”

That’s that sort of list that comes after a loss that Rhoads said he was both embarrassed by and ashamed of. Rhoads took part in the Big 12 teleconference after jumping out of a staff meeting where he and his assistants were figuring out how to move forward from the loss and best use the bye week.

The Cyclones watched film Sunday and are set to resume practice Tuesday.

“We’re diligently working to find some answers for open week preparation,” Rhoads said. “How we can motivate them, how we can prepare them and coach them up and get them to play their tails off against the Red Raiders. Tomorrow as a competitor, I get to compete, meaning I get to teach, I get to coach, I get to work with kids.”

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