116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
AMES - Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads stood on the sideline and watched running back Mike Warren run free, but saw one instance where he thought the red-shirt freshman might be losing some steam.
'We still had him out there and I thought we should've substituted for him,” Rhoads said. 'As he gets accustomed to more carries and more yardage and more work, he'll be fine with what we give him.”
'I think my adrenaline was just pumping too much to get tired,” Warren said. 'I don't really think about getting tired, I just think about running when I get the ball.”
The production Warren, a red-shirt freshman, has given the ISU offense would be hard to pull back on any of his snaps. In fact, Rhoads and Warren both envision the breakout performer through the Cyclones' (2-3, 1-1) first five games shouldering even more snaps.
Warren has rewritten the top rookie rushing numbers in program history with a single-game ISU record of 245 yards last week against Texas Tech. He has 546 of his 574 yards in the last three games and leads all FBS freshmen while averaging 8.1 yards per carry.
'We pound away every day in practice and I think Mike is just getting more confident in us,” said ISU center Jamison Lalk. 'He's running like he knows that we're going to do the job for him. He's not running timid.”
For the third week in a row, Warren was asked how he can follow up his latest record performance. The Lawton, Okla., native couldn't pinpoint something specifically, but with TCU coming to Ames Saturday, Warren knows more carries - thus an increase in time of possession - could be a place for Iowa State to start.
'We have to run it a little bit more to manage the clock and run down the time because I don't think we'll want to be in a shootout with these guys either,” Warren said. 'They have a high-powered offense, so managing our time with the ball and just milking the clock is our best bet.”
The Horned Frogs (6-0, 3-0) rank 100th in rushing defense and allowed 228 yards against Kansas State last week. Iowa State has averaged 255 yards per game on the ground in the last three games and had 315 against the Red Raiders, leaving Warren to believe he is ready to take another step in his young career and carry the run game further.
'I know they're better than the last team we played,” Warren said of TCU. 'I heard that their run defense is shaky and that's a big plus for me because I think I can have another great performance for this game.”
Kicking competition open
Five inconsistent showings in the place kicking game were enough for Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads to officially open up the kicking competition, he said Monday.
Cole Netten has been a staple in the kicking game the last two seasons, but is 7-of-12 this season with confusing misses - including three from 40 yards and in the last three weeks - leaving walk-on red-shirt freshman Chris Francis to join the mix. Although both kickers will be evaluated throughout the week, Rhoads said Netten still has the edge.
'He should be kicking come Saturday,” Rhoads said of Netten. 'Chris is improved, but as I said after the game, his opportunity was a poor kick when he got out there and moving right back to Cole with the kickoff after that, and he kicked the ball exceptionally well with his kickoffs on Saturday.
'He's hitting some balls exceptionally well, but then when something goes wrong whether it's his foot placement or his kick foot or whatever it is, it's an inconsistent result,” Rhoads added. 'He's got to get it cured. I can't perform for him. He's got to get it cured.”
l Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org