Quarterback position still unsettled for ISU

2013-11-04T16:53:00Z 2013-11-04T22:04:14Z Quarterback position still unsettled for ISUBy JIM NELSON For The Globe Gazette Mason City Globe Gazette
November 04, 2013 4:53 pm  • 

AMES | Grant Rohach got a congratulatory text from a cousin Monday on being named Iowa State's starting quarterback.

The information, however, was news to Rohach and he's not even certain it is true. For that matter, neither does Cyclone head coach Paul Rhoads.

In the most recent two-deep released by ISU Monday, Rohach was listed ahead of Sam Richardson, who has started all eight games this year.

"I had no idea," said Rohach, the redshirt freshman from Moorpark, Calif. "I don't know if it is for sure."

Rhoads spent a good portion of his weekly press conference talking about the decision, and said despite Rohach being listed at No. 1 he wouldn't be surprised if Richardson took the first snaps Saturday when Iowa State hosts TCU at 11 a.m. at Jack Trick Stadium in its 101st Homecoming Game.

And despite Richardson being hobbled since the Cyclones' season opener with Northern Iowa, this is the first time Rohach has been listed ahead of Richardson on the depth chart. It is also the first time ISU coaches have given extra thought to starting Rohach.

"The Iowa game we discussed that had Grant been more prepared and showed more on the practice field we would've because Sam's health was so poor leading up to that game," Rhoads said. "Since then, no, there hasn't been a time where we've leaned one way or another and quite honestly depending how this week flows Sam could run out there as starting quarterback against TCU this week."

Rohach, who has came on in relief of Richardson in each of the last three games, is going to approach the situation like he has the previous eight weeks ... preparing like he is going to start.

"How I will handle it is just not focusing on it," Rohach said. "I'll go into film preparing to start as I've done every week no matter if I'm the back-up or third string even. I feel no matter what position you are at you have to prepare as like you are going to start the game and that is how I'm going to attack it."

Rohach has completed 31 of 60 passes for 250 yards a pair of scores and three interceptions, with two of those coming last week against Kansas State. Richardson is 120 of 217 for 1,388 yards with 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions while also rushing for 331 yards.

But at the time Rhoads replaced him against Kansas State with Rohach, Richardson had produced zero points and finished no drives in yet another ineffective start.

"It is the decision making that hadn't gotten us to where we needed to be in position to be knotted up 10-10 or something to that affect," Rhoads said of last Saturday's switch.

INJURY FRONT: Finally for the first time all season there was some positive news on the healthy status of the Cyclones.

Back-up tight end Ben Boesen is expected to play this week and Rhoads is hopeful junior quick tackle Jacob Gannon will be able to return to the line-up against the Horned Frogs after missing the last three games with an MCL injury.

"I would argue he was playing as good on the O-Line as anybody at the time we lost him and with the other injuries at that particular position group we couldn't afford for him to go down. It would be a great shot in the arm if he is able to play."

Against Kansas State, the Cyclones started the same starting five along the offensive line in back-to-back weeks for the first time.

Gannon's return would also be added insurance if freshman Daniel Burton, who left Saturday's game with a sprained ankle but is expected to play this week, isn't 100 percent. 

Copyright 2015 Mason City Globe Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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