Big 12 spring game recap: Iowa State

What happened:

  • The four-quarterback race continues in Ames, with Jerome Tiller, Steele Jantz, James Capello and Jared Barnett all having decent days. Tiller completed 12 of 18 passes for 174 yards and a pair of scores and ran for 28 yards on two carries. Steele completed 8 of 16 passes for 113 yards and a touchdown with an interception. All four quarterbacks got time with the first string.

  • Aaron Horne miraculously led both the Cardinal and Gold teams in catches with a combined eight receptions for 124 yards and a 50-yard touchdown. Darius Reynolds was the second-leading receiver for both teams, catching five passes for 126 yards and a pair of touchdowns for 40 and 19 yards.

  • Shontrelle Johnson led all rushers with 59 yards on 11 carries.

  • A crowd of 4,000 showed up on a chilly, 44-degree day in Ames.

  • The Cardinal team beat the Gold team, 35-22.

What we learned:

  • I spoke with coach Paul Rhoads last week (more from that conversation later this week) and he insisted that the quarterback race isn't between just Tiller and Jantz. Giving all four quarterbacks time with the first team is a good way to back that up. Jantz has game-breaking speed, but he'll have to wait until next fall for a chance to really show it. He had just six yards on nine carries, including sacks. I'd still be shocked if someone other than Tiller or Jantz wins the job, but Capello and Barnett are getting a shot. There's no doubt about that.

  • Rhoads went out of his way to praise Reynolds when we spoke last week, and the 6-foot-3, 190-pounder made him look good with a big day. Iowa State needs more help at receiver, and Reynolds looks like a player who's doing his part to step into that role. Alongside him, though? Horne, a juco transfer who came to campus early and was Jantz's teammate at the City College of San Francisco. He's a much different type of receiver at 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds, but the Cyclones need playmakers. Last season, Horne caught 51 balls for 1,176 yards and 12 touchdowns from Jantz. Whether or not Jantz wins the job, Horne is going to have to be a factor in the passing game for the Cyclones.

  • Jake Knott, who made 131 tackles last season at linebacker, missed the game with a broken arm. You never like to see that, but honestly, if you have to have your best player miss time with a broken bone, I'd argue that the last spring practice of the year is the best time to do it. That's fortunate for the Cyclones. He should only miss a month or so of serious offseason conditioning. But the two months he'll be sidelined from the injury will be well behind him by the time fall camp opens in August. His partner in crime, A.J. Klein, led the team with 10 tackles.

They said it:

"No one eliminated themselves today as the starter. We have to be careful with turnovers because you can’t win Big 12 games turning the ball over."- Rhoads, on the Cyclones' quarterback competition

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