By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher
Coming off of what was maybe the biggest win in Iowa State football history, it was an active Monday inside of the Jacobson Athletic Building in Ames. As always, head football coach Paul Rhoads met with members of the local media to discuss the ins and outs of his program. Saturday’s 28-21 upset over Texas was today’s hot topic. Here are notes that I took during the event.
CLICK HERE to listen to the press conference in its entirety.
Take your pick…Nebraska or Texas?
It got brought up Saturday night on Cyclone Reaction. It has been hashed out here at CycloneFanatic.com. WHO-TV 13’s Soundoff program even had a poll on it last night.
Which win was bigger for the Iowa State football program? Last year’s upset over Nebraska or Saturday’s triumph in Austin?
We shouldn’t even need to discuss this in my opinion. The Texas win was WAY bigger in more ways than one. I will elaborate on that later this week.
Paul Rhoads was asked about this topic on Monday. Here’s how the coach responded.
“Both were certainly historic,” Rhoads said. “When you haven’t won at a place for 32 years, that’s pretty significant. When you haven’t beaten a program ever and it is the last Big 12 team that you haven’t beaten, that’s pretty significant.”
“You can’t hide the fact that beating traditional programs like that have a huge boost to a program that is trying to make a name for itself. I can’t say that one is more significant than the other. Both were very important.”
Impact on recruiting
The most significant Paul Rhoads quote of the day:
“Recruits were calling us after the game.”
That’s what winning in Austin does for prospects in the recruiting rich state of Texas.
“I think it had a major impact with recruiting and going into households,” Rhoads said. “We were sitting on the bus and coaches were getting one call after another. Kids were wanting to call to congratulate us. When that starts taking place, you know that you have already started impacting those kids and that victory has impacted them even more.”
Rhoads said that when he turned on his cell phone after the win, he had 125 text messages waiting on him. That is one popular dude. I don’t’ even think that I have 125 contacts in my phone.
Starting center Ben Lamaak was listed at the top of Iowa State’s depth chart when it was released on Monday morning. If anything, that is a good sign. I wouldn’t read too much into it though. Still, Rhoads said that Lamaak will be accessed on a day-to-day basis for the rest of the week leading up to Saturday.
“We immobilized him after the game,” Rhoads said. “We tried to keep that as secure as we could. He will be a day-by-day, ongoing evaluation to see how far we can bring him along before Saturday’s kickoff.”
If Lamaak isn’t able to go on Saturday against Kansas, expect Alex Alvarez to replace him at center. Senior Sean Smith would then move over to guard and redshirt freshman Ethan Tuftee would help out too.
Senior free safety’s Zac Sandvig and Michael O’Connell both got banged up on Saturday as well.
“Both sore but both ran around yesterday,” Rhoads said. “Both probably will not have contact tomorrow but will practice all week.”
Rhoads handed out some surprising injury news too. Third string tight end Ricky Howard is likely out for the season after suffering from an MCL sprain.
“They will work hard to get him back just as quickly as they can,” Rhoads said.
Lattimer earns Player of the Week honors
CLICK HERE for stats and more regarding Iowa State defensive end Jacob Lattimer winning the Big 12’s Defensive Player of the Week award. Here’s what Rhoads had to say about the junior’s award-winning performance on Saturday.
“The production was fantastic but he has been coming on and that is why we made the move,” Rhoads said. “He has been showing that he has been getting the position and has that ability to be a full-time starter for us. He was relentless in his effort on Saturday but the whole front four, the eight guys who played up there, made an impact on the game and had the quarterback scrambling and moving his feet quite often.”
"I might call him a little bit of a crazy guy out there. He just goes out there and loves to hit and play hard," said sophomore linebacker Jake Knott. "With his speed and strength, I think that he can keep doing that the rest of the year."