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Red Raider Gridiron | Stewart Out, Marquez Maturing and Preparing for the Cyclones

S Austin Stewart will miss Saturday's game to work on grades, while WR Bradley Marquez is maturing into a dependable receiver.

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MARQUEZ MATURING | LAJ's Don Williams writes about how sophomore WR Bradley Marquez is maturing as a player and offensive coordinator Neal Brown has a lot of respect for Marquez and how he plays:

"I’ve got a lot of trust in him," Brown said, "and I think our quarterbacks do, too. On and off the field, he’s a trustworthy guy. On his routes, he’s where he’s supposed to be and he’s got a knack for making plays. He’s got a lot of room to grow as far as a route runner. He’s still raw in that regard, just because this is only the second year he’s ever done it. But he makes a lot of plays."

It's also good to hear a lot of these players so focused and working on their weaknesses. Marquez knows he needs to be better as a route-runner:

"Anybody that’s seen me and knows me really well, especially these coaches, they know that’s something I’ve got to work on," he said. "Some of these guys have been receivers their whole lives, maybe four or five years. This is barely my second year being a receiver, so it’s still an adjustment for me. I’m not the best at it right now, but I try to make up for it with my playmaking ability."

NOTEBOOKS | LAJ's Nick Kosmider and DT's Michael DuPont II have notebooks from yesterday. The highlights include the idea that S Austin Stewart isn't going to play this week because he needs to work on the classroom. Earlier in the year IR Javares McRoy missed games for the same reason. CB Cornelius Douglas should be ready to play and LB Zach Winbush will most likely start for LB Sam Eguavoen.

CHANGING EXPECTATIONS | Wide Right Natty Lite has a good post about the changing expectations for this Iowa St. team, but I think some of your thoughts about that the Iowa St. offense has struggled a bit this year is somewhat on point:

But overall, the offense has been sluggish, especially against the weak defenses ISU has faced. Iowa State is averaging 429 yards a game, which is good for 47th in the nation. Unfortunately, that's only good for ninth in the Big 12. The 28 points per game the Cyclones are putting on the board is also only good for ninth in the Big 12. Iowa State's 175 rushing yards per game? Also good for ninth place in the Big 12. This is especially disappointing given the emphasis Paul Rhoads placed on the running game this year.

IOWA ST. LINKS | Des Moines Register's Mark Emmertt writes that this is the year for the Cyclones to do big things . . . Cody Davis' Student of the Game writes about having the week off for the game, but said the team focused on fundamentals . . . Clone Confidential writes about five negatives for Iowa St. . . . The Gazzette's Rob Gray writes that Iowa St. knows that Texas Tech will still throw the ball . . . Des Moines Register's Andrew Logue answers five questions about the Cyclones . . .