By Rob Gray
AMES — Iowa State football coach Paul Rhoads found his running game’s elusive “hot hand” in the person of speedster Aaron Wimberly.
Then, he turned to the club.
That’s running back/fullback/fifth-year senior Jeff Woody, who rumbled for three of the touchdowns Wimberly helped set up with 137 rushing yards in Thursday’s 38-21 revenge-tinged road rout of Tulsa.
And don’t expect end zone-based jealousy to become a part of Wimberly’s growing game.
“Woody’s my big brother, so that’s not a problem,” said Wimberly, who gained 7.2 yards per carry against the Golden Hurricane and hopes to have similar success in Thursday’s 6:30 p.m. ESPN-televised Big 12 season opener against Texas at Jack Trice Stadium. “Any running back getting in there, I’m just excited for anybody getting a touchdown.”
Thursday, that was Woody — and it’s nothing new.
Last season, ISU running backs rushed for a total of seven touchdowns.
Woody trudged in for two of them.
His three trips past the goal line Thursday were the most for a Cyclone back since Ryan Kock also made three visits Oct. 15, 2005 at Missouri.
The reason he had room in tight quarters while Wimberly dashed and darted from sideline to sideline is simple, Woody said.
“The offensive line is pretty much to account for most of the rushing yards,” he said.
Woody’s accounting also led to a confession.
One of his touchdowns really should have gone to fellow senior James White.
“The funny thing is on the first one I scored … I was playing a true fullback and kind of missed a block and James got tackled by the guy I was supposed to be blocking on the one-yard line,” Woody said. “I apologized to James on the sideline after that.”
“He was like, uh, we scored,” Woody said.
A team-wide rushing game renaissance will do that — as will a hot hand with the Longhorns (2-2, 1-0) looming for the Cyclones (1-2, 0-0).
“I was just waiting for an opportunity to present myself,” said Wimberly, who previously had 10 carries for 48 yards. “I got an opportunity that game to do that.”
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