AMES, Iowa — Iowa State’s Jared Barnett has been here and done that.
The sophomore signal caller has been the Cyclones’ back-up quarterback, earned the starting job, lost the starting job, and now he’s the starter again.
This time, however, he feels better-equipped to handle the ups and downs of the job, something Barnett says he wasn’t prepared for last season, especially after leading ISU to wins in each of his first three starts, including upsets over Texas Tech and Oklahoma State.
After that three-game win streak, Barnett’s play was not nearly as efficient or productive.
Now, after leading the Cyclones to a 37-23 win over then-No. 15 Texas Christian Saturday in his first start of the season, Barnett sits in a similiar situation and says he’s more prepared to face the serious challenge Iowa State (4-1 overall, 1-1 in Big 12) will get this Saturday at Jack Trice Stadium against No. 6 Kansas State (5-0, 2-0).
“I was way too high,” Barnett said of his approach to the game after the OSU win. “I think I settled there. I wasn’t focused on being better ... I think I was content with where I was. I think that is why it led to a decrease in my playing ability.”
Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads agrees with the Garland, Texas native.
“As you get more reps, your body get sore,” Rhoads said. “Your arm gets sore. You starting compensating for things ... making decisions to try to force action instead of letting the game come to you.
“I think that was part of that process as Jared got a number of games underneath his belt, and because of that he is smarter and I don’t look for him to repeat those kind of things.”
And as well as he played against the Horned Frogs, Barnett said there was enough film to show what he didn’t do well and he doesn’t want to repeat those mistakes against the Wildcats this week.
“I had a lot of really stupid mistakes,” Barnett said. “The interception, for one, was a terrible mistake. I had a guy open and I just did not go through my progressions.
“It is still seeing what I’ve done wrong. I did do a lot of wrong in the game even though we won. I still have to get a lot better.”
Rhoads believes Barnett benefitted from his time on the sidelines during ISU’s first four games.
“If you are a smart player and somebody else is taking the reps first, you’re learning from them,” Rhoads said. “Jared is a smart player.
“He is a student of the game, he’s a coach’s son ... all those characteristics go into a guy who probably has just marginal talent from overall strength of arm and so forth standpoint.
“To zero in on what needs to be done, what needs to be accomplished to be successful, yeah, he has benefitted from that (standing on the sidelines watching).”
TV TIME – The Big 12 hasn’t settled on a kickoff time for Iowa State’s Oct. 20 game at Oklahoma State, but it has announced two possible scenarios.
If the game is slotted for FX, it will be played at 11 a.m. If ABC picks up the game, kickoff will be at either 2:30 p.m. or 7 p.m.
The Cyclones’ Nov. 10 game at Texas will be a regional ABC game that will be shown on all ABC affliates in Iowa. Outside of the state, the game will appear on the Longhorn Network.