What You Need To Know About The Iowa State Offense
– Let’s just say it could be better. The offense was efficient when it had to be – for the most part – and it was effective enough, but it was also stagnant way too often over the second half of the season. This year, even with the loss of offensive coordinator Tom Manning, the attack should be more consistently productive.
It all starts with the offensive line that was terrific in pass protection, but struggled for a running game that had too many good weapons to be so mediocre. Three starters return – with C Julian Good-Jones the best of the lot – and the whole group has to provide a much bigger push, especially because …
– David Montgomery might just be the second-best running back in the Big 12. Oklahoma State’s Justice Hill is the league’s best runner, but Montgomery would do far more if the line helped him out. He leads a deep group of experienced, talented backs that can produce when it’s all working, but last year the ground game was the second-worst in the league, averaging just 113 yards per game.
– The great story of walk-on-made-good QB Kyle Kempt keeps getting better, earning another year of eligibility after shocking the world with his performance in the win over Oklahoma, and finishing the season with 1,787 yards and 15 scores with three picks. However, star recruit Re-al Mitchell might just be the team’s best quarterback – he’s a far more mobile option.
Top target Allen Lazard isn’t around anymore, but Hakeem Butler is the deep threat who can step into the role and be a No. 1 target – but he has to be more consistent. The corps won’t be as good, but it’ll still be effective.
Biggest Key To The Iowa State Offense
No, seriously. The running game. No team with a back like Montgomery and a proven veteran like Mike Warren should be so mediocre. The Cyclones averaged over four yards per carry just three times, and 13 of the 16 touchdowns on the year came in just four games.
Granted, it was easy to rely on the passing game, and the conservative nature led to just ten turnovers on the year – a Big 12 low – but the Cyclones didn’t struggle this much on the ground in more than a decade. They need to control games with the rushing attack.