Insight Bowl: Practice Report from Iowa State Coach Paul Rhoads

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Insight Bowl: Practice Report from Iowa State Coach Paul Rhoads
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The weather in Phoenix is a bit cooler than normal right now, but it is highly unlikely anyone from the Iowa State sidelines will complain about it.

The Cyclones traded inches of snow and subzero temps for inches of sand and tons of sun.

Iowa State arrived in Arizona on Thursday morning, and started practice at Desert Mountain High School on Saturday.  Head coach Paul Rhoads greeted the press after team practice yesterday.

About today’s practice: "Coaches  are  set  in  their  ways  and  everything  is  game  week.  Today  is  Monday.  Tomorrow  is  Tuesday. Tuesday’s  preparation  is  awfully  important  to  game  week. 

"We’re  ahead  that  we’ve  already  practiced  against Minnesota. But the players can never believe that you’re done. We’re far from being in that position. You get good exposure back in Ames and then you get back here and it is normal game week."

About the balance between work and fun this week: "One of the things I think you do to balance it is keep you team informed. I think if they are informed about everything that is taking place from the activities to the fun to the curfews to the work, they respond.

"If they know  they  are  going  to  a  dinky  locker  room,  they  are  ready  for  it.  If  they  know  they  are  going  to  be  at  a fabulous practice facility, they are ready for it. With that in mind, I think our overall preparation will reflect that."

About the difference between Big Ten and Big 12 teams: "I  don’t  know  if  there  is  a  set  difference  by  conference  that  way.  Minnesota  is  multi-dimensional  offensively with what they do. We faced other teams that are that way also in our league.

"There are a number of spread teams in that league (Big Ten). The offense wants to score more points than the defense. I think both leagues are physical leagues."

About the geographical rivalry with Minnesota: "I think it is a natural rivalry because the borders connect and the fact that recruiting circles or some of the teams that we play there is carry over. The fact that we don’t play each other year-in and year-out I think separates it a little bit. But I think there is a natural rivalry with the border."

An Insight Bowl win against the Gophers would cap off a great first year as head coach for Rhoads.

Iowa State will square off against the Minnesota Golden Gophers in Tempe on Dec. 31 at 6 p.m. EST.

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