The Rhoads Less Traveled

There may not be a tougher coach to face than Iowa State's Paul Rhoads. He has a proven record at Iowa State and recorded two of the Cyclones three victories against Texas Tech; most notably a 41-7 smackdown at Jones AT&T Stadium in 2011.

There may not be a tougher coach to face than Iowa State's Paul Rhoads.

Historically, Iowa State is not a prestigious football program. The Cyclones have had years with Heisman candidates and moments of glory, but the program is not one that screams NCAA football powerhouse.

Rhoads has a proven record at Iowa State and recorded two of the Cyclones three victories against Texas Tech.

First-year Texas Tech coach and former star quarterback Kliff Kingsbury said the 41-7 beatdown at the hands of Rhoads and the Cyclones in 2011 is not a fond memory.

"It wasn't a good night for us obviously," Kingsbury said. "It was disappointing, but that happens in football."

Kingsbury was the offensive coordinator for the Houston Cougars at the time, but being a Red Raider, it was tough for him to see.

Building up the Iowa State program is not an easy task. Rhoads came in after a disastrous Gene Chizik era which saw the Cyclones go 5-19 in two seasons. Chizik bolted for Auburn and has since been fired, even after winning a BCS National Championship and producing Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton.

Rhoads is still with the Cyclones and has taken the team to three bowl games in four seasons. His worst record is 5-7 which matches Chizik's total number of victories in Ames.

Kingsbury said Monday he noticed Iowa State is well coached and gave kudos to Rhoads.

"He does an incredible job motivating those guys and you see that on tape," Kingsbury said. "The effort first and foremost is what jumps out at you. All of those guys play their butts off every snap and that's a compliment to that head coach."

Rhoads only has one winning season under his belt. It came in his first year, but he has led the Cyclones to four of their six wins over ranked opponents in their 120-year history. His resume also includes a double-overtime victory over then-second ranked Oklahoma State in 2011.

Rhoads was born 10 minutes from Jack Trice Stadium in nearby Nevada, Iowa. He also fights for his players when he feels the need to. The Big 12 publicly reprimanded Rhoads after comments about a late controversial call against Texas. During the rant, Rhoads said he looked into his players eyes and could not be prouder of the effort given.

Kingsbury said the news conference may have an effect on Saturday's game between his Red Raiders and Rhoads' Cyclones.

"From what I saw in that press conference," Kingsbury said, "They'll be fired up."

Rhoads is 2-1 as a head coach against Texas Tech and won his only game in Jones AT&T Stadium. Saturday's kickoff is set for 11 a.m.

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