In the past few seasons, the ISU football team has only had a handful of weapons on offense. This season, however, might be different.
The Cyclones are loaded on the offensive end headed into the 2014 season, bringing back multiple experienced players at every position. And as a quarterback, that is all you can ask for.
“You go out there on the field and I could throw it to anybody and they could all score,” said redshirt sophomore quarterback Grant Rohach. “I could go all day with naming these guys. They’re studs. It’s very relaxing to know how much talent there is on the field.”
The Cyclones have six different receivers back this season who each earned significant playing time last season, including redshirt junior Quenton Bundrage, who was named to the third-team All-Big 12 his sophomore season.
Along with the receivers, tight end E.J. Bibbs and running backs DeVondrick Nealy and Aaron Wimberly will give the quarterback even more options on offense.
“It’s a group of guys that have really been here for a while, and they definitely know where they need to be,” said redshirt junior quarterback Sam Richardson. “We’ve got guys on the outside that can really make plays and they’re really starting to figure out the system. It’s one of the best groups we’ve ever had.”
One of the main things head coach Paul Rhoads wanted to implement this past offseason was a new offense. While he says he doesn’t want to make it too complicated, he believes that it will make a big difference this season.
“It’s different than what they have been accustomed to playing,” Rhoads said. “The reads are different, the mannerisms are different and the plays are different. It’s just a new style than what we’ve done the last five years.”
Being a quarterback trying to learn a new offense, things can get challenging. Rohach, however, thinks that they are really embracing the changes and knows that it will help in the long run.
“We’ve put some new parts into the offense, so mentally it’s challenging,” Rohach said. “But it’s nothing we quarterbacks can’t handle. The whole offensive staff has been great about making sure we understand what we’re doing out on the field before we even get there. It’s been great.”
After last year's disappointing three-win season, the team is looking to change the way they think during the year. To make a bowl game, which is Rhoads’ expectation, it knows it needs to take things slower and just focus on improving day to day.
“This year we're really going to focus on the game each week, we’re not going to project anything,” Rohach said. “I think it’s going to be one week at a time, and at the end of the season we’ll see where they lay.”