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At A Cross-Rhoads: Will 2012 Be Different?

Guns Up? No, those are "L's" that represent Texas Tech's back-to-back losses to Iowa State. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-US PRESSWIRE
Guns Up? No, those are "L's" that represent Texas Tech's back-to-back losses to Iowa State. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-US PRESSWIRE

This all seems very familiar, doesn't it? Iowa State is 3-0, coming off a bye week and hosting a Texas school to kick off Big 12 play. I can assure you, this is not deja vu though, as much as it may seem like it. But still, the parallels between 2011 and 2012 are eerily similar at this point. Turnovers are still an issue. The offensive execution still makes you scratch your head at times. Jake Knott and A.J. Klein are still full-fledged badasses. The list goes on.

So while replicating 2011 and getting out to a 3-0 start was a must if Iowa State is going to make a bowl game, what happens from here on out can't follow last season's script anymore.

I hate to even bring up that game against Texas last season, but if this team and this season is going to be different, the Cyclones can't afford another effort like that.

3 first quarter turnovers

8 penalties for 90 yards

2 touchdowns called back due to penalties

1 blocked punt

It was an unmitigated disaster as Texas got out to a 34-0 lead en route to a 37-14 victory. All that momentum, all that passion, poof...gone. Three more ugly losses followed and at 3-4, few fans thought a bowl was possible.

We all know how the rest of that season went, though, and that brings us to this week. Texas Tech is also trying to flip the script from 2011. At 5-2 and coming off a shocking upset of Oklahoma, the Red Raiders were enjoying a promising season. Then the Cyclones came to Lubbock and butt trounced those bastards and Tech never recovered, finishing 5-7.

So has Iowa State learned from that post-bye disaster against Texas in 2011? It would appear so. Although this is Rhoads' fourth season in Ames, this will only be the third time he's manned the sideline following a bye week. The aforementioned contest against the Longhorns was his first try. So how'd the other game go you ask? Also from last season, Iowa State had an off week in between their wins over Kansas and #2 Oklahoma State. So yeah, things got better the second go around. Hopefully, we can expect more of the same on Saturday.

The word around Lubbock though, is that this Tech team is different. Iowa State has outscored Tech 93-45 in their past two meetings and that doesn't have anyone in black and red too happy. As usual, Tech has fattened up on an embarrassing non-conference schedule, full of cupcakes, so it's tough to really know how good this Red Raider edition is.

We'll find out soon enough which team deviates from last season's story line and puts their stamp on 2012. In Iowa State's case, that means less mistakes, more production and manufacturing a win in a conference opener for the first time since 2002.

With that said, we leave you with this:

And this fellow: