1. Jacob Park continues to be that dude.
Jacob Park continues to get more comfortable and efficient as the season moves on. We all heard about his skills when we he signed, and over the last few weeks we have seen more and more of them. Park finished the day 14/18 for 285 yards passing and two passing touchdowns. He also had one rushing touchdown to go with it.
Iowa State has been searching for stabilization at the quarterback position for years, and I hate to sound like a broken record, but I think we may have found it. Park makes plays. He’s not flashy, but he can get Iowa State out of trouble if needed and mistakes have been coming less and less as the weeks progress. That’s what this team will need for years to come.
Park will have another two years here at Iowa State, and at least one more with Joel Lanning coming in for short yardage packages. Which leads us to our next point
2. Joel Lanning package needs to be permanent for next year.
If the last two weeks have told us anything, it’s that Park running the show primarily while Lanning gets brought in for run packages can work. This was especially true against Texas Tech. Lanning had 17 rushes for 171 yards and 5 touchdowns. He also threw the ball four times, which will certainly keep a defense honest if the package stays the same.
This won’t be the main look the Cyclones will throw out on the field, but it gives them another element of attack that prior years were lacking. Iowa State’s inability to keep defenses on their toes has been a killer in the past. Multiples looks and different packages will give any defense fits. Campbell and company may have found something that makes them unique.
Get excited about the West Virginia game and next year if things continue like yesterday. It’s going to be a thing of beauty to watch.
3. The Process is looking awfully good right now.
We are a few simple mistakes and 4th quarters away from playing for a bowl game next week — but that is now a thing of the past. Players with multiple years of eligibility left are gaining valuable experience and many freshmen have earned playing time, which is something we rarely saw the prior six years under Paul Rhoads.
Young players like Deshaunte Jones, Hakeem Butler and David Montgomery have made huge plays for Iowa State on the offensive side of the ball. JaQuan Bailey is getting better each week at the defensive end position and on top of him, the entire defense seems to be playing more collectively as a unit. Pile all that together with impact players set to arrive via recruiting, and there is a lot to be excited about.
As for next week, if you are thinking about showing up to the game, make every effort to do so. This team deserves our support and help to gain another win to close out the year. A W would certainly go a long way into building for next year.
Enjoy the final game, and watch the process play out right before our eyes.