Defense Shines in Iowa State Spring Game

By Rob Gray and Scott Westerberg, Reporters

AMES — Any bells and whistles that undoubtedly lurk in Iowa State offensive coordinator Mark Mangino's playbook stayed safely sequestered from Saturday's annual spring game at Jack Trice Stadium.

The plan: simplicity — in play calling and, most importantly, execution.

The results: Solid, if somewhat flawed when it came to a wind-bothered passing game.

"To win in (the Big 12), you've got to be able to threw and catch the football and that's an area we still need great improvement in as we move forward," said Cyclones Coach Paul Rhoads, who oversaw what amounted to the 13th of 15 spring practices witnessed by an estimated 6,500 fans.

It's still a three-man competition — Grant Rohach, Sam Richardson and Joel Lanning — for the starting quarterback job, Rhoads said, but the battle could be trimmed to two as early as Wednesday.

Who stood out most Saturday?

"I would say Grant was probably the top performer of the day," said Rhoads, whose defense delivered 12 touch sacks. "That doesn't put him (on top), necessarily."

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