Sep 24, 2016; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones running back Mike Warren (2) celebrates after his touchdown against the San Jose State Spartans at Jack Trice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports
AMES, Iowa. — Week after week, people outside of the Iowa State football program have asked the same question — when will Mike Warren get rolling? Will the former freshman All-American find his footing, and role, on this year’s Iowa State squad?
The answers definitely didn’t come on Saturday in Iowa State’s 31-26 loss to Kansas State. Warren ran for 34 yards on just six carries. His first touch came during the second quarter.
Again: Where was Mike Warren?
“Well, we had a chance to win the football game,” Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell said. “Next question.”
Oh, well, okay then.
This was the first time Campbell had seemed legitimately abrasive when asked about his redshirt sophomore tailback. He didn’t give any response regarding Warren’s practice habits or his work ethic.
He simply said nothing.
“I think the rhythm of the game, us getting down a little bit — not that it jogged us out of it, but I did think we ran the ball,” Campbell said. “I don’t know what we were averaging per carry in the game, but I thought we were able to do some good things.”
Most of those good things came from junior quarterback Joel Lanning, who led the team with 75 yards on 10 carries with a touchdown. True freshman David Montgomery led the running backs with nine carries for 39 yards.
The Cyclones couldn’t be expected to really live and die by the rushing attack on Saturday considering the fact they fell behind so early. That said, the silence surrounding Warren’s lack of usage is deafening.
“The running backs did good. Mike Warren had a few good runs and David got in there and did his thing,” Sophomore quarterback Jacob Park said. “I believe in all our running backs.”