On to Iowa State

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Black Knights plan to take their option ground attack to the Iowa State Cyclones, but this Saturday Army will storm Jack Trice stadium from the sky. Gameday events vs. Iowa State will include:

— An interactive display managed by 20 soldiers.

— Military personnel parachuting into the stadium around 4:45 p.m.

— Two M119 Howitzers will be fired every hour beginning at noon from the stadium’s Jacobson Plaza, symbolizing sacrifices soldiers made through history.

— Three Black Hawk helicopters flying over the stadium after the National Anthem.
Get as hyped as you want about the military exhibitions, Army is coming to play football.

As a University of Pittsburgh alumnus and Pitt football fanatic I’ve seen plenty from first-year ISU head coach Paul Rhoades Rhoads. Rhoads is an energy guy and a great motivator for his players. This translates into players who buy into his schemes –particularly on the defensive side of the ball. The issue is never with Rhoads' personality, his schemes on the other hand...

A lot of Pitt fans were elated when Rhoads moved on to Auburn after 2007, Rhoads’ defensive units had a habit of underperforming when the chips were down. There’s a reason why Pitt fans began calling him coach “Rhoa_s”.

You might recall Navy scorching Pitt for 490+ yards in 2006, Rhoads took a hard-headed approach to navy’s triple option and stayed stubbornly within his base 4-3 defense. Result: a 45-48 OT loss that kept Pitt from bowl eligibility. Rhoads’ Pitt defenses always had trouble defending against spread attacks, whether it was USF, Toledo, WVU, Utah or Temple -Rhoads has had more than his share of defensive struggles.

This is also the first time in a long time that the Cyclones have faced a triple option offense.
ISU coach Paul Rhoads said running an offense teams likely will see only once a year is an advantage for the Black Knights.
“You’ve got to be able to run to beat the blocks and get leverage against their defenders to try to stop all components of the option,” Rhoads said.

ISU employs its own spread attack with an emphasis on running the ball.
(Alexander) Robinson rushed for 100 yards against Iowa, and 143 in last Saturday’s 34-14 win at Kent State.

He’s doing it in an offense where “spread’ doesn’t always mean pass.

“I have always thought that’s a wrong connotation that gets thrown around – that the ball is going to get thrown all over the yard,” Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said. “If you’re going to be successful running this offense, you have to be able to run the ball.
So Army wants to run the football and Iowa State wants to runn the football... any other similarities? Well there's this one... the Cyclones have had their own problems hanging onto the ball.
ISU has lost six fumbles through three games. To correct it, Rhoads said the coaching staff will change up drills in practice this week and that the team will correct the problem.

Also, Rhoads said running back Bo Williams has yet to see the field this year because he’s had trouble hanging onto the football in practice.
Kickoff is set for 7:00 EST, the game will not be televised. The ISU video feed will be made available for purchase as ITT Knight Vision on GoArmy.com



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