Commentary

Early ISU preview

The Cyclones will need to rebuild their defense in 2012

Updated: August 3, 2012, 12:01 PM ET
By Carter Strickland | HornsNation

Editor's note: HornsNation will count down to the start of fall camp by taking an in-depth look at each team Texas will face in 2012.

The Rundown

Record in 2011: 6-7, 3-6 in the Big 12 Last meeting vs. Texas: Texas won 37-14 in 2011. All-time vs. Texas: 1-8

Top returners: James White, RB; Josh Lenz, WR; Jared Barnett, QB; Steele Jantz, QB; Jeremy Reeves, CB; Jake Knott, LB; Jacques Washington, S; Ethan Tuftee, OL; A.J. Klein, LB.

Key losses: Leonard Johnson, DB; Jake Lattimer, DE; Patrick Neal, DE; Darius Reynolds, WR.

Statistical leaders

Passing: Steele Jantz, 138-of-259 for 1,519 yards with 11 interceptions and 10 touchdowns

Rushing: James White, 159 rushes for 743 yards and eight touchdowns

Receiving: Josh Lenz, 39 catches for 510 yards and two touchdowns

Tackles: A.J. Klein, 116

Interceptions: Jeremy Reeves and Jake Knott, 2

Sacks: Klein, 2

Did you know: Iowa State's second-leading tackler from 2011 and one of its best returning defenders, Jake Knott, very nearly went to Iowa to play baseball. It wasn't until Paul Rhodes was hired that Knott was convinced to go the football route for the Cyclones.

Three things to watch

QB conundrum: The Cyclones do not have a quarterback just yet. Barnett led ISU to the huge upset win over Oklahoma State. But it was Jantz who led them to the overtime win over Iowa. Caoch Paul Rhodes will pick a starter in camp but this could be a battle that goes on throughout the season.

Defense experience: The Cyclone defense only returns one starter on the defensive line. While Rhodes said his team is as deep as it has been since he arrived in Decemeber of 2009, this lack of experience, especially on the line could come into play in 2012.

Finding big plays: The Cyclones are searching for a playmaker on offense. Wide receiver Darius Reynolds averaged 16.2 yards per catch in 2011. He was the most explosive target on offense. Josh Lenz is back but he did not prove to be a deep threat during his junior year. Jarvis West or Quenton Bundrage might be two names to watch at wide receiver.

Carter Strickland | email

Reporter, HornsNation

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