AMES — Labor Day? Who needs it.
It’s Cy-Hawk week.
Paul Rhoads held his weekly Monday press conference this morning in preparation for Saturday’s meeting with the University of Iowa. Before I hit the road for “RVTV,” here are three takeaways.
On Daniel Burton’s health…
Depending on who you talk to, Daniel Burton is Iowa State’s best offensive lineman. The big man missed Iowa State’s season opening win over Northern Iowa with a knee injury. What’s his status for Saturday’s 3:30 (FOX) kick vs. Iowa?
“He is close,” Rhoads said. “He’s doing a lot of stuff on land but we will match him up against other physical bodies to see if he is there. We believe he has a good chance to be ready on Saturday.”
Captain Obvious: Iowa State will need Burton on Saturday. Iowa’s defensive line was dominant in a 31-14 win over Illinois State. This brings us to the other side of the ball…
Rhoads on Iowa’s running game…
Leshun Daniels averaged 4.7 yards per carry in route to a 123-yard performance in Iowa’s season opener.
“Speed,” Rhoads said. “He hit a couple of holes hard and fast and picked up a lot of yardage before defenders were able to get to him.”
Perhaps the biggest surprise to me about Iowa’s running game was Jordan Canzeri’s performance. The senior averaged 5.6 yards per rush on five carries but caught four passes for 90 yards as well.
“They have got a great one-two punch if you will in the backfield” Rhoads said. “It will be a formidable rush-offense that we are matched up against.”
Rhoads also spoke at length about Iowa’s starting quarterback, C.J. Beathard, who will no doubt be a part of the Hawkeye rushing attack.
“He’s mobile, there’s no question about that,” Rhoads said. “They will use him to run the football. He is going to create with the scramble first. If there is space to run, he’s going to run. He can run. He can eat up yards fast and turn a real positive gain in a hurry. He has tremendous velocity on his football. He is going to get the ball to an open receiver in a hurry and is a very good player.”
Rhoads said that Iowa State won’t play as much of its new 3-4 defense against a more traditional offense like the Hawkeyes.
Are you catching the theme here?
Rhoads believes that this game will be won in the trenches.
“Iowa has always been so strong on the offensive and defensive lines and they are again this year,” Rhoads said. “We looked improved on our defensive front. We are still building with the offensive front but I think I am keeping my eyes close to the line-of-scrimmage.”
Check out more coverage from Rhoads’ weekly presser later today here at CycloneFanatic.com.