There's really no difference philosophically, but note they'll use both quarterbacks Saturday. Richardson is the better quarterback but his bruised right thumb prevents him from being an effective passer right now, thus Rohach being the starter for the second game in a row. The Cyclones will insert Richardson in running situations — watch for the speed option on third-and-short. Rohach won't do very much read-option.
Rohach has a tighter release and, therefore, better fundamentals and upside as a passer, but he gets a little too anxious at this point in his career, with a reluctance to throw the ball away and settle down in the pocket. His footwork has been a concern.
This is three questions in one, Bob. That's not fair.
I think Iowa State is crummy with either quarterback — I mean, that's factually obvious — but has a better chance with Richardson, because he knows the offense more and has more experience. I do think if Richardson had been healthy this season Iowa State has more than one win.
Mindset? They're just trying to have some fun. Paul Rhoads has done an excellent job keeping this team together.
2. Tell me about E.J. Bibbs. He shocked OU fans when he picked Iowa State instead of the Sooners last winter. How has his season been?
E.J. Bibbs has really come on and I think he's going to be the main focal point of the offense down the stretch and, with Jace Amaro likely going pro, will enter fall of 2014 as a first-team all-conference tight end. Bibbs had his best game last week against TCU, with seven catches for 63 yards, and is Rohach's best friend in the passing game.
3. Is Kirby Van Der Kamp the best player on the team? How big of a weapon is his foot?
He's currently the best bet to make an NFL team. KVDK's averages have up a tick this season despite tons of work and plenty of games in tough wind.
It's a weapon, for sure, but at nearly eight punts a game, the Cyclones have to use him way too much. That defense has squandered plenty of good starts in field position.
4. The OU offense is sputtering and horribly inconsistent. How much of a factor is Jeremiah George going to have on this game?
Jeremiah George is the most productive linebacker in the conference and a guy I think should make a national All-American team. First off, he's a tremendous leader. I've never seen a player open every single media availability with either a statement or an, "I have no statement and I'm open to all questions." Get a kick out of that.
But he's just such an active player. In my film study features each week, I notice No. 52 is everywhere. A hell of a linebacker. He will have an impact on this game.
5. Fill in the blank. For Iowa State to win at OU, it must _____________
Bob, you're setting me up to look like a sunshine pumper, because there's no realistic chance Iowa State wins this game.
The Cyclones would first have to see the Sooners play down to their level — which I guess is possible — and then string together long drives. This is an offense that has scored one touchdown in each of the last two weeks. They'll need big special teams play, and they had a KR for a TD last week. They need to find a way to close out a game, with a number of late errors costing them games against Iowa, Texas (the refs were also to blame), Texas Tech and TCU.
It also must get a lot of pressure on Blake Bell and get him out of his comfort zone.