Texas Tech Opponent Prospectus :: Iowa St. Cyclones

2010 Texas Tech Opponent Prospectus

Game 1: SMU Mustangs (9.5.10) :: Game 2: @ New Mexico Lobos (9.11.10) :: Game 3: Texas Longhorns (9.18.10) :: Game 4: @ Iowa St. Cyclones (10.2.10) :: Game 5: Baylor Bears (10.09.10) :: Game 6: Oklahoma St. Cowboys :: Game 7: @ Colorado Buffaloes (10.23.10) :: Game 8: @ Texas A&M Aggies (10.30.10) :: Game 9: Missouri Tigers (11.06.10) :: Game 10: @ Oklahoma Sooners (11.13.10) :: Game 11: Weber St. Wildcats (11.20.10) :: Game 12: Houston Cougars (11.27.10)

General Information

Opponent Iowa St.
Nickname Cyclones
Location Ames, IA
Enrollment 27,943
Conference Big 12
Head Coach Paul Rhoads
2009 Record 7-6, 3-5
Starters Returning 8 Offense : 4 Defense
Blogs Clone Chronicles
Links 2010 Spring Football Outlook

 

Join me after the jump for a closer look at the Cyclones.

Statistics

Statistic Iowa St. Texas Tech
Pass Offense 184.69 (94) 386.77 (2)
Rush Offense 180.00 (35) 84.00 (115)
Total Offense 364.69 (73) 470.77 (4)
Scoring Offense 20.54 (103) 37.00 (7)
Pass Efficiency 115.92 (96) 143.79 (19)
Sacks Allowed 1.23 (21) 2.38 (87)
Pass Defense 250.15 (102) 225.62 (73)
Rush Defense 165.69 (86) 126.77 (38)
Total Defense 415.85 (99) 352.38 (49)
Scoring Defense 21.85 (34) 22.46 (41)
Pass Efficiency Defense 115.92 (96) 117.38 (35)
Sacks 1.23 (111) 3.09 (4)
Tackles For Loss 5.00 (92) 6.46 (34)
Turnover Margin 0.31 (36) -0.46 (94)


Top Returners

Category Player
Rushing Alexander Robinson :: 232 Rushes : 1,195 Yards : 6 TD
Passing Austen Arnaud :: 178/303 : 2,015 Yards : 13 INT : 14 TD
Receiving Jake Williams :: 36 Receptions : 403 Yards : 5 TD
Tackles David Sims :: 44 Solo : 44 Assists : 88 Total
Sacks Ter'ran Benton :: 2 Solo : 0 Assists : 20 Yards : 2.0 Total
Interceptions David Sims :: 5 INT : 79 Yards : 0 TD

Key Losses and Returning Impact Players

Disclaimer: I'm not an expert on the opponent, but I try my best. If I have something wrong, please let me know and I'll correct or revise as necessary.

Key Losses:

WR Marquis Hamilton, TE Derrick Catlett, C Reggie Stephens, DT Christopher Lyle, LB Jessie Smith, LB Fred Garrin, S James Smith.

Impact Offensive Player :: RB Alexander Robinson:

I thought that the obvious choices here were Robinson and Arnaud, but went with Robinson because when he gets the ball, he can be a game-changer. Robinson was injured a good chunk of last year, which is why his rushing totals, 1,193 yards, isn't too impressive, however, he averaged 5.16 yards a carry and I can almost guarantee that he'll have more than just five rushing touchdowns this year.

Impact Defensive Player :: SS David Sims:

I wasn't real sure who to pick here, as Iowa St. is replacing all three starting linebackers and the defensive line is in a bit of flux. So, I went with who I thought was the best and most consistent playmaker on defense, David Sims. Sims was the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year last year, and finished the year with 88 tackles, 5 interceptions, 3.5 tackles for a loss and 3 forced fumbles.

Coach Speak:

Head Coach Paul Rhoads on being better in 2010:

"We would like to make further strides in the Big 12 North," Rhoads said. "We came away with two division victories a year ago in beating Colorado and Nebraska and had gut wrenching losses to Kansas and Kansas State. We played Missouri for 45 minutes before being turned away. We know in 2010 that if we are going to upgrade our program it starts in the Big 12 North and those close losses have to end up in the other column. To move up we have to work harder and execute better than the other programs in the Big 12 North."

Spring Chatter:

  • Haughton Dismissed: OG Scott Haughton was dismissed from the team after the spring and Drew Davis may replace Haughton:
    Drew Davis -- The 6-foot-8, 337 sophomore was listed behind Haughton on depth chart this spring, but didn’t see action last season on the offensive line.
  • Offense Puts on Show: At the spring game it was apprently the QB Austen Arnaud and QB Jerome Tiller Show:
    Arnaud, who only played the first half, was 14-of-20 for 156 yards with a 1-yard rushing touchdown.

    "We moved the ball, but at times we stagnate," Arnaud said. "We were efficient, but the defense also made some plays and they brought their game today. It wasn’t a one-sided game."

  • A More Physical Team: Head coach Paul Rhoads thinks that after the spring, his team is more physical:
    "We’re a more physical football team," coach Paul Rhoads said. "Last spring, we showed glimpses of how to hit, of how to tackle.

    "This spring, I was never frustrated at all with that. We’ll get after you.

    "We’re well ahead of where we were a spring ago."

  • Defense Makes Strides: Rhoads also says that the defense made tremendous strides over the spring:
    He thinks the Cyclones have a smarter, faster, more athletic and a harder-hitting defense than last season. Now he wants the group to transfer the way it tackles in practice over to game-like settings and develop "bigger eyes."

    "There is a progression of keys that takes place," Rhoads said. "You can’t just focus on one thing every play, and our guys have to broaden their vision … The more we start to accomplish those few things right there, the more growth we will have and the quicker growth we will have."

  • Linebackers Must Step-Up: The Cyclones must replace all three startinglinebackers and LB Matt Tau'fo'ou is hoping to take over at middle linebacker:
    And especially huge for Tau’fo’ou, who’s charged with making sure one of the Big 12’s most improved defenses in 2009 doesn’t drift back into old, bad, generous habits.

    "It’s thick. Oh man," Matt said, laughing, when asked about mastering coordinator Wally Burnham’s playbook.

    "The thing is, Burnham’s tricky; it comes in like this. " Tau’fo’ou continued, holding one hand out as if to grip an imaginary cheeseburger. "And then we’ve got about four more pages (added) every day. Every day, we’ve got new stuff, so we’re always adjusting."

  • Good Receiver Depth: During the spring game seventeen different players caught a pass:
    "By having six quality football receivers, at least, to run out there on the field and be able to use them on the field as weapons is probably the position that we’ve moved ahead the most," said Rhoads on the Big 12 spring football teleconference Tuesday.

    Seventeen players caught passes in Saturday’s spring game. Wide outs Darius Reynolds, who had six catches for 81 yards, and Sedrick Johnson, who had six catches for 66 yards, led the way.

    "We got a lot more experience this year," Johnson said. "A bunch of us are juniors and seniors now. We have experience. We are wiser than we were last year. We know the offense like the back of our hand."

    Rhoads believes having a plethora of receivers who can make plays will make the Cyclones less predicable this fall.

    "We are more skilled and certainly more understanding of what we are trying to accomplish, and with all that combined, we are a better core of receivers heading into 2010," Rhoads said.

vs. Texas Tech:

Everyone keeps talking about how Paul Rhoads is the perfect fit for Iowa St. and I couldn't agree more. After the absolute mess that Chizik left the Iowa St. program in, what Rhoads has done at Iowa St. is truly impressive. And Rhoads is the type of guy that will be at Iowa St. as long as they'll have him, a true good guy in college football. And although we tend not to follow the Big 12 North, Rhoads after the Nebraska win is something that might force you to be a fan of the guy as well. And keep in mind that Tuberville offered Rhoads the defensive coordinator position twice. Once in 2007 when Rhoads turned down Tuberville to stay as the defensive coordinator at Pittsburgh, and then again in 2008. In 2008, Rhoads accepted the position of defensive coordinator for Auburn, as Chizik went to coach at Iowa St. (this is incredibly ironic, right?).

But to the Cyclones themselves, I think there's talent on the team, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Robinson helped lead an offense that ranked 35th in the nation in rushing offense and Arnaud is a senior quarterback that is more than capable of leading the offense. Obviously, you'd like to have an offense that does a better job of getting the ball in the endzone, but it's not a bad offense. And there's plenty of players that return for Iowa St. and I don't think it's out of question to think that those scoring numbers increase a bit.

Defensively, it might be a tough year for the Cyclones. As mentioned above, Iowa St. is replacing all three of their starting linebackers and the defensive line is a bit shaky (as an aside, Clone Chronicles is previewing every position and can be found under the Clone Chronicles football section). The unit that returns the most experience is the secondary, which is the same secondary that was 102nd in the nation in pass defense and 96th in the nation in pass efficiency defense.

Perhaps one advantage for the Cyclones is that Iowa St. will get the Red Raiders a week after facing the Longhorns, however, Iowa St. also has a fairly tough early season schedule as they'll face off against Northern Illinois, @ Iowa, @ Kansas St., and then back at home at Northern Iowa. Facing Iowa and Kansas St. both on the road will be tough for the Cyclones.

My all-too-early feelings about this game are really dependent upon whether or not the Texas Tech offense is humming like a well-oiled machine or sputtering around to find itself. If its the offense we know and love, then I think this game is infinitely easier, but if the offense is struggling, then this game is much, much closer than anyone may want to admit.  This will be the first significant game at Jack Trice Stadium for the Cyclones and I would imagine that the Iowa St. fans will be plenty excited.  Although I didn't watch a ton of Iowa St. football last year, I would imagine that it's all about ball-control and Texas Tech, at times, has problems with those types of offenses.  Overall, I still really like Texas Tech in this game, and although we've been saying it all spring, "Let's wait and see," I still think that Texas Tech should win this game.

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