Paul Rhoads is trying to turn things around for the Iowa State Cyclones and make them a contender for the Big 12 title. Things won’t get any easier in 2013 as ISU loses some of its key leaders on defense and must pick up the pace on the offensive side to pick up that slack. For the Cyclones to find success next fall, they will need their young quarterback, Sam Richardson, to become the signal caller that has been missing in Ames.
Richardson showed flashes of what he was capable of last year during his freshman season. Over four games, the young signal caller completed over 58 percent of his passes for 541 yards with eight touchdowns against just one interception. He will take over the starting job following the graduation of Steele Jantz and will do his best to turn things around for the Cyclones.
He will have some support on the offensive side of the ball. Iowa State figures to have a strong offensive line protecting him and a solid running game behind him to give the offense some balance. There are some concerns with the receiving corps and the team will need a playmaker to emerge next fall to jumpstart the passing offense, but there are pieces in place for Richardson to succeed.
There will be hiccups as the young signal caller grows up as a starting quarterback at the major college level, but the talent is there for him to be a difference-maker in Ames. Will 2013 be the year he lives up to his potential?