The Iowa State Cyclones have a lot of work to do to work their way up the Big 12 standings in 2014. Head coach Paul Rhoads has made changes to his staff during the offseason with the addition of Mark Mangino as offensive coordinator to add a spark next season. As Mangino looks to implement his new system this fall, it could open up the opportunity for tight end E.J. Bibbs to have a breakout season.
Last season, Bibbs finished second on the team with 39 receptions for 462 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He has shown the ability to be a dangerous pass catcher in the middle of the field during his junior season providing a matchup problem releasing off the line of scrimmage. Adding him to the mix with Quenton Bundrage, who could be the top receiver in the Big 12 next season, the dynamic Jarvis West, and 6-foot-5 transfer D’Vario Montgomery makes the Cyclone passing attack a dangerous combination.
When Mangino was leading the Kansas Jayhawks, he opened up the playbook regularly and will be looking to do the same in Ames next season. Using Bibbs to open up the middle of the field and take advantage of mismatches in coverage is going to be a major piece of the Iowa State attack going forward. Finding ways to utilize Bibbs’ pass-catching ability will open things up in a major way and provide a spark for the Cyclones next fall.
While it will be a major uphill battle for Iowa State to factor into the Big 12 race next season, they figure to be a very dangerous team on the field thanks in large part to the talent of Bibbs at tight end. Will he be an enough of an X-factor to make the Cyclones a player this fall?