Run It, Then Run It Some More

Run It, Then Run It Some More

This week in unsolicited Cyclones advice: Run the ball 60 times

Each well I'll give provide an Iowa State coach with some unsolicited advice. Here's one of the things I think would work against Baylor:

Kansas State held a brief fourth-quarter lead over Baylor, limited the Bears to 35 points and lost by just 10 points. All minor, moral victories.

How did the Wildcats do it? They dominated the time of possession, 39:24 to 20:36. They ran the ball for 327 yards rushing. Baylor managed 114. The Bears also shot themselves in the foot; Antwan Goodley dropped three passes, Baylor committed six penalties and lost a fumble.

While Iowa State won't have any control over those last three strokes of Baylor bad look, the Cyclones can try to replicate the Wildcats' ground success.

So, my suggestion to offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham: Run the ball 60 times Saturday.

In the 18 games Messingham's been coordinator, the Cyclones have never rushed so much in a game. The most was 50, a few weeks ago in the close, close loss to Texas. Second-most was 48 in the win over Baylor in 2012. Most fans remember that game for Steele Jantz's career passing day, but the Cyclones opened up space downfield thanks to a steady effort to run the ball.

Iowa State under Messingham is 1-7 when rushing less than 40 times a game. Only once has that happened this season — 24 attempts in a loss to Iowa — so it's clear Messingham has figured out very well his offense is totally futile without the bedrock of a run game.

If Aaron Wimberly can handle it, give him the ball 20 times. The rest of the 40 carries can come from the Cyclones' stable of running backs — Shontrelle Johnson, James White, Jeff Woody, DeVondrick Nealy. Give Woody the ball inside the 20s. Through his career Woody is averaging 4.2 yards a carry, impressive considering he gets many of his touches near the goal line where yardage is tight.

Baylor has lost eight games since 2011. Four of those occurred when the opponent ran 45 times or more. This is the only chance. Recommended Stories

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