Press Coverage: Week 13

Iowa State enters Week 13 coming off its final bye of the season awaiting Texas Tech and with quarterback Sam Richardson's shoulder improving

Richardson on track to return Saturday

Getting a productive Sam Richardson back on the field Saturday will be more about getting him at full-strength at the end of the week and less about how things go early on.

Nonetheless, if the start of the week is any indication, Richardson’s hiatus should be limited to one game. Richardson, who sat out the Kansas game with a bum right shoulder, began throwing — more than just typical rehab tosses — again Sunday and went 10-for-10 in Iowa State’s 7-on-7 drills.

“It was very encouraging to see him out there doing everything that we asked him to do on the practice field,” coach Paul Rhoads said. “He will be, I don’t think full-strength is probably accurate, but he’ll be ready to go Saturday for our ball game against Texas Tech.”

The redshirt junior will be on a pitch count of sorts this week as Iowa State progressively works him to Saturday. No number on that toss counter was revealed Monday, but it stands at least 10 deep entering game week.

“That pitch count will increase as the week goes along, but right now he’s making all the throws,” Rhoads said. “He’s throwing the deep ball as well as the short stuff. Yesterday not only did he do it very accurately, but he did it with velocity, too. To be honest, there’s really nothing concerning unless there would be an unforeseen setback for whatever reason.”

Richardson has completed 58.2 percent of his passes this season, and that includes a drastic dip after he went 15-of-40 against Oklahoma. With 14 touchdowns passes, he has three games to catch Todd Bandhauer, who tossed 20 in 1997.

Saturday, his sore shoulder will meet temperatures around 37 degrees at kickoff.

“You don’t want to wear it out too much this week throwing in practice,” Richardson said. “We have kind of a pitch count on me during practice and they’ve got a set amount of throws they want to see me throw and make sure I make those throws before Saturday, so that’s kind of the plan for this week.”

Bye week gets physical in Ames

The Cyclones attempted to shake up their third and final bye week as they prepared to take on Texas Tech last week.

“We practiced more physically last week,” coach Paul Rhoads said. “We were in full pads both practices last week that we had Wednesday and Thursday. We still worked in our young players, our redshirt players and got them some development work. We came back yesterday and were in shoulder pads and helmets, but kept the practice short and really had good, focused work.”

Iowa State has dropped both games off of bye weeks this season by a combined 108-42. The reason?

“Baylor and Oklahoma,” Rhoads said.

Coming off this third bye week, Iowa State will be matched up with a more comparable Texas Tech (3-7, 1-6 Big 12). The Cyclones will practice indoors all week leading up to Saturday’s contest.

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