Scouting Report: What Will ISU Do On Offense?

I'm not exactly sure what Iowa State will do on offense but I know that Cyclone head coach Paul Rhodes shares with Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy one aspect of the offense and that is running the football. Gundy is not happy that Oklahoma State is averaging only 171.8 rushing yards a game and even more disappointing to the head coach is the per play average of 4.1 yards.

"You have to run for five or more (yards)," Gundy said on Monday. "To be a good team it has to be over five yards an attempt running the ball."

Rhodes' team is averaging only 104 rushing yards a game and a paltry 3.4 yards a carry. Rhodes is not happy and knows it has to change, and changing it agains the Oklahoma State defense which is only allowing 3.2 yards per rush will be very difficult.

"You got run the ball and you gotta defend the run if you are going to be successful and we are not even scratching the surface at doing that," Rhodes said. "We are averaging just over 100 yards a game and our quarterback (Sam Richardson 54.4 yards per game), not by design, is our leading rusher.

"We have to fix it and it is being addressed. We have to do a better job of blocking, not the front five but everybody with the receivers and the tight ends."

The Cyclones have talented running backs like Aaron Wimberly and DeVondrick Nealy along with a pair of freshmen, but they haven't been getting the job done.

"The running backs have to do a better job of running the football," Rhodes added. "We have to make some folks miss. In watching Oklahoma State, other people are taking care of each gap too and some runners are making people miss. We need to do some of that."

Against Baylor, Iowa State hit some big plays and Richardson is completing 61 percent of his passes with five touchdowns and four interceptions. Tight end E.J. Bibbs, who draws a lot of attention as an All-Big 12 talent, and Jarvis West, the Iowa State version of Tyreek Hill. The freshman that may turn out to be a superstar is Allen Lazard, a 6-5 target with 12 catches for 190 yards and a touchdown.

Rhodes also knows the Oklahoma State defense is pretty solid despite being young.

"They run very well and they transition well from the inside to the outside," Rhodes said of the speed. "They have some young players in the secondary and they have had some injuries and had to put other guys in and they haven't missed a beat."

Iowa State is 10th in the league in total offense and eighth in the conference in scoring offense. There is some extra motivation. The whole team realizes falling to 1-4 would make it very tough to muster the comeback toward being bowl eligible which the program badly wants to accomplish this season.

For offensive right guard Daniel Burton there is some extra motivation. The Putnam City North product has both parents and older brothers as OSU alumni, and he grew up a Cowboy fan.

"I attended many a game growing up in Oklahoma City there. It will be fun playing on the other side of things," Burton said. "It is a loud environment and a great place to play. I wouldn't say it is great as Jack Trice Stadium. They recruited me but did not offer a scholarship. Iowa State did and I thought if I'm not going to play for them then I want to play against them."

A little extra motivation on the offensive line could help. Then again, maybe not.

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