NORMAN, Okla. | Iowa State football players, staff and fans can only wonder if a healthy Aaron Wimberly would have changed the season.
The junior, at first saddled by under use against Northern Iowa and Iowa and then at times used sporadically due to injuries, was at his best during parts of Saturday’s 48-10 loss to Oklahoma.
He started off hot, with 45 yards on nine carries, and he was so much of an early-game factor that he got a gigantic assist in the Cyclones’ 7-0 lead.
Wimberly carried the ball with such shiftiness and authority in previous plays, that Oklahoma’s defense got suckered into thinking he took a handoff from Sam Richardson at the 4-yard line early in the second quarter.
It was just a fake. Alone, Richardson angled right into the end zone and Iowa State was up a touchdown.
“We had a lot of outside runs that were working,” Wimberly said of first-half runs.
Though his game total ended at 50 yards on 13 carries, his flash and dash were front and center on this Saturday.
“He missed 16 practices out of 29 in training camp that we never aired, and then had the hamstring and so forth,” coach Paul Rhoads said. “No question he’s a weapon for us. He’s one of our better players.”
How different would the season have been had Wimberly been the every-down back?
“I don’t know if I can equate it to wins, but yes, it certainly would have been (a positive) effect having him the entire way,” Rhoads said.