First and foremost, I am very excited to have the opportunity to provide my thoughts on the Cyclone Football program. As a former player and co-captain of the 1992 team, I am excited to add my insight into the program that I love so much.
So, three games under our belt and we are 2-1. But what does that mean in terms of our potential success over the next nine games? There are many areas that Iowa State needs to work on and here are a few areas where I see they can make improvement:
Iowa State has the size, talent, and offensive and defensive schemes to win any game on our schedule. However, if we want to compete and win some of the close games, we need to stop turning the ball over. In the first three weeks of the season, we have averaged 3 fumbles a game. Not all of these were lost, but we need to stop putting the ball on the ground. The worst sound that a defensive player can hear is a coach calling for the defense because your offense turned the ball over. In addition, our quarterbacks need to realize that a strong arm does not mean that you can fit every pass into tight coverage. I would like to see Austen pull the ball down and run for even a couple of yards instead of trying to make the perfect throw. If we can control this portion of the game, it will definitely have an impact on the win total for the season.
If I were able to clone one person on the Iowa State defense, it would be David Sims! Not only does he have speed and size, but he also plays with the intensity that I would like to see from some of his other teammates. It is fairly obvious that we are a little light in the pants on our defensive-line and linebacker positions. What can really make up the difference is attitude and intensity from our players. It wasn’t too long ago that an undersized and out-manned Iowa State Team went against Nebraska in 1992. There were a number of reasons why we won that game, but the main reason is that we played at an intensity level greater than Nebraska that day. I would like to see our team come out with some fire from the very first snap, and keep it up throughout the entire game.
Playing the Freshman Quarterback
Simply put; Stop It! While I have no doubt about Jerome Tiller’s athletic ability, and that he will contribute to Iowa State’s success in the future, this is Austen’s team. In our last game against Kent State, Iowa State was being efficiently run by Austen and it resulted in a 24-7 lead at the end of the 1st quarter. Then the coaches (who seemed to have this already in the game plan) brought in Jerome in the 2nd quarter to run the offense. It was obvious that the momentum that was built up was lost when that change was made. I could care less if the coaches had decided that the 2nd quarter was going to be run by Jerome; when you are beating a team, you need to continue with what is working. At that point, Austen had the offense clicking on all cylinders. If the coaches continue to think that giving Jerome some playing time is more important then letting Austen build a cohesive offensive unit, this will ultimately cost us some wins in the long run.
Well, that is it for this week! Up next a breakdown of the Army game!