The Norman Transcript

Sports

December 17, 2012

QBmove has paid off for Cyclones

AMES, Iowa — Iowa State’s decision to play freshman quarterback Sam Richardson in the final two games of the regular season resulted in a win, a loss and a lot of hope for the future.

Now Richardson has the chance to grow some more.

Iowa State (6-6) earned a berth in the Liberty Bowl against Tulsa (10-3), giving Richardson more time to increase his familiarity with the rest of the starting offense.

The Cyclones say the experience from playing in a pair of games and working as the starter in practice is already paying off.

“The biggest thing, to be honest with you, is pocket presence,” offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham said. “Because how he’s handled the offense, how he’s interacted with the players has always been very mature, very much ‘I know what I’m doing.’ But the thing that’s changed is, now that he’s had real live reps, is his ability to understand ‘I need to go run’ or ‘I need to throw it away and not take a sack.”’

Richardson, a redshirt freshman who spent much of the year as the third stringer, led the Cyclones to touchdowns on four straight possessions in his first full quarter of playing time in a 51-23 win over Kansas on Nov. 17. That effort earned him his first and only start the following week against West Virginia.

Richardson completed just 13 of 31 passes in extremely blustery conditions, but he also racked up three TDs and no picks in a 31-24 loss. He’s since been able to work with the rest of the starting offense more than he ever had before, and he said that experience has been “tremendously” positive.

“I’ve definitely molded my game to fit with the (starters) now and it’s helped quite a bit,” Richardson said.

The one thing the Cyclones would like to see more of is assertiveness.

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