By Rob Gray
AMES — Iowa State safety Jacques Washington ranks as a top tackler of men.
How about tickets?
The senior captain’s deftly got that covered, too — to the tune of roughly 30 seats for select family and friends who will attend Thursday’s 6:30 p.m. Fox Sports 1-televised game at Tulsa.
“Iowa tickets are very valuable,” Washington, who grew up in Irving, Texas, and Owasso, Okla., said of the in-team ticket exchanges. “You can get one Iowa ticket for about four others. So it was very valuable. That’s what I got it back from.”
It’s no wonder Washington is majoring in supply chain management while leading the secondary for ISU (0-2).
On the field, he’s one of three defensive banks among the top 14 tacklers in the nation.
Washington’s tied for 11th at 11 stops per game — and totaled 13 takedowns in ISU’s two games against the Golden Hurricane (1-2) last season.
So familiarity with Thursday’s foe spans both down and distance for Washington, who said Owasso is to Tulsa what Ankeny is to Des Moines.
“Playing back at home, we obviously need a win,” Washington said. “They beat us in the (Liberty) Bowl game, so we’ve obviously been thinking about that. They’re a good team and I’m excited to play them again.”
He’s intent on turning talk back home in a different direction, too.
Washington said he heard all about the 31-17 bowl loss whenever he ventured back to Owasso after the 2012 season.
So did his dad, who dealt with glib Golden Hurricane fans around the workplace in the aftermath of the Liberty Bowl.
“Gotta get the bragging rights for my family,” Washington said.
HE’S BACK: Iowa State junior center Tom Farniok has missed one start in his ISU career. It happened to be the last game — Iowa, because of the lingering effects of a strained right knee. “That was really depressing, but it is what it is,” said Farniok, who is expected to make start No. 28 at Tulsa. “I’ve just got to be happy that (the rehab) has gone as well as it has.” Farniok tweeted after the injury that occurred during the Northern Iowa loss that he felt he’d let the team down. He said he takes every setback personally — whatever the level of his own performance. “I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Farniok said. “So when something bad happens there, it really comes crashing down on me, but that makes the good that much better.”
RUNNING IN PLACE: None of ISU’s running backs have gained more than 60 yards this season. And 33 of 39 non-quarterback carries have been spread fairly evenly among three tailbacks, making a go-to rusher hard to identify. “You’re going to continue to see multiple guys just because we’ll play two running backs at the same time, based on the ebbs and flows and the play selection,” Rhoads said. Low output has complicated the search for a “hot hand” in the backfield. “We haven’t got a hand, elbow or foot hot yet as far as that goes,” Rhoads said. “We haven’t been able to put that philosophy in play.”
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