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Week 9 Player to Watch: Jacob Park

It’s time to Park the 2-QB system.

NCAA Football: Kansas State at Iowa State Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

It looks like Iowa State’s QB picture might be getting a little clearer after the K-State game. After weeks of Joel Lanning and Jacob Park essentially trading off drives, Iowa State went to a more traditional 2-QB system, with Park taking over the majority of the QB duties, while Lanning came in mostly as a running threat.

Park threw the ball 35 times for 301 yards and a pair of TDs, while Lanning only threw seven passes. Lanning still provides value on the field, as he demonstrated on Saturday with 10 carries for 74 yards and a TD.

I don’t claim to know more about the game of football than Matt Campbell does, but I don’t think having two QBs trading off every other drive leads to success in football. That’s probably why almost nobody does it.

A system like the one Iowa State employed against K-State, where one QB is primarily a thrower and the other QB is primarily a runner, is more common. It allows for more continuity, as Park stays in the flow of the game, and Lanning is still used as a specialty weapon from time to time.

Lanning will remain a part of the offense, but it should be Park’s time to go out and sling it now. Trading off drives has allowed Park to gain some valuable experience, but now it’s time to go all in. Iowa State is 1-7, and while that’s not on Lanning, Iowa State has to give Park a shot and get a better idea of what they have at the position going forward.

I don’t know if Park is the QB of the future or not, but I think the Cyclones need to find out. Joel Lanning has been “the guy” and we more or less know what he can do now. Park is still kind of a mystery. He’s shown flashes, but he’s also proved to be inaccurate and unpolished.

Maybe he’s not the going to be “the guy” going forward, but it looks like his audition started against K-State and will continue this week. And who better to prove himself against than No. 12 Oklahoma on a Thursday night under the lights?