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Week 12 Player To Watch: The QB Combo

Because they combined to look like Heisman candidate last week

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

After wishing ISU’s football season would mercifully come to an early end, now it seems like the season is almost ending too soon. The Cyclones are riding a two-game winning streak and have played pretty well for the past four weeks.

It seems like the Cyclones are finally turning a corner now just as the season is about to end. That means one last look at this year’s team. A good performance against a top team and there will be a whole offseason for the hype to build.

One of the most fascinating aspects of this season has been the quarterback usage. It’s been a rollercoaster ride, but it’s hard to argue with the results of the last few weeks, and especially last week. It seems like they’ve got the 2-QB system down now, and honestly it’s a lot of fun to watch.

In a 66-10 thrashing, Iowa State QBs racked up 336 passing yards, 176 rushing yards, and 7 total touchdowns. It was an impressive performance by both Joel Lanning and Jacob Park, even if it came against a horrible defense.

I’m most interested to see how the 2-QB system will continue to develop, starting this weekend against West Virginia, and then into next season, where Iowa State will certainly be looking toward the first bowl appearance in far too long.

After the weekly Monday presser, Joel Lanning sounded committed to staying in Ames and playing whatever role that’s given to him, and Matt Campbell made it clear that Lanning is a vital weapon that will continue to be used going forward. That means interesting things for Iowa State’s offense next year, with an added attack option and a coaching staff that has a whole year to scheme up ways to use it.

But before we get to next year, the Cyclones have one more game to play. After playing by far the best game of the year, Iowa State wants to head into the offseason on a positive note, and it’s no secret that the quarterback position has a lot to do with success on the football field.

With that in mind, Park and Lanning are the two players to watch in the season finale. It’s one thing to put up huge numbers on Texas Tech, but it’s another to put together a solid performance against a ranked opponent. Obviously nobody expects another 5-touchdown performance from Lanning, but how well can the 2-QB system work? Is it something better teams can successfully scheme against?

How well it works against West Virginia as Iowa State goes for a third-straight win might provide some insight into how well it could work into the future. Regardless of the outcome of this game, it seems that there are plenty of reasons to be excited for 2017.