Quarterback controversy at Iowa State?

Steele Jantz was benched late in Iowa State's 52-17 loss to Missouri on Saturday. It was the Cyclones' worst performance of the season, according to coach Paul Rhoads.

Jantz's status as the starting quarterback is no guarantee this Saturday when the Cyclones host Texas A&M.

"We’re going to practice through," Rhoads told reporters on Monday, "and see by the end of the week who we think has the best chance to lead our football team to victory."

In relief, freshman Jared Barnett completed 3-of-8 passes for 25 yards and an interception. He also ran four times for 21 yards.

Jantz finished Saturday's game with 161 yards on 17-of-31 passing with 37 yards on 10 carries.

Junior Jerome Tiller, who earned some spot duty behind Austen Arnaud the past two seasons, is academically ineligible this season.

Rhoads readily admitted that his team wouldn't have started 3-0 without Jantz, and he's right. Jantz played the last three games and part of the win over Connecticut while being hampered by a sprained foot, but Iowa State has lost its last three games by 23, 23 and 35 points, including two games on the road.

The guess here is Jantz holds onto his spot. But while his fourth quarter brilliance early in the season spawned a strong start for the Cyclones, he struggled through portions of that stretch, which included three fourth-quarter comebacks.

His eight interceptions are two more than any player in the Big 12, and against Connecticut, three of his first four passes were picked off.

Those types of mistakes kept him from cementing his status as the starter, a job he won in preseason camp.

He'll have to eliminate them to make sure he keeps it.