AMES — Iowa State defensive end Mitchell Meyers has been working on his speed this spring.
So far, so fast.
The 6-4, 242-pound sophomore swept inside and outside for three “touch sacks” in the first quarter of Saturday's spring game at Jack Trice Stadium.
He finished with a game-best 4.5 tackles for loss — and matched end mate Cory Morrissey with 3.5 sacks.
“Playing faster, never stopping your feet, never letting up; just keep on a relentless pass rush,” Meyers said of his increased comfort level and speed-generation on the edge. “Don't stop, just keep on going.”
The Cyclones accumulated 12 sacks — and even if they came on touches, that pleased Coach Paul Rhoads, whose team totaled 15 non-touch sacks in 12 games last season.
“I thought with a limited playbook, I thought it would favor the offense, quite honestly,” Rhoads said. “And the defense really stepped up and played together and played with energy and performed well.”
Defensive tackle David Irving's “suspended indefinitely” situation stemming from facing three VEISHEA riot-related charges went to Rhoads' cutting ties with him completely in less than 24 hours.
“In the end, it's a privilege and an honor to be a part of this football program and represent Iowa State football, Iowa State athletics and Iowa State University,” Rhoads said as part of his opening remarks after Saturday's scrimmage. “David Irving has exhausted that privilege to represent this football program by not meeting the expectations that we've laid out for him. David Irving has been dismissed from our football team.”
Irving was the team's only returning interior defender with starting experience.
Safety T.J. Mutcherson suffered an MCL injury Saturday and is out four weeks, Rhoads said. The sophomore from Tampa, Fla., is competing for a starting job.
“Four weeks and he should be strong and good as new and that's about the day we're starting summer workouts,” Rhoads said.
BULLISH ON BLANEY
Center Tom Farniok said offensive line coach Brandon Blaney has provided a “very” welcomed change to the man he replaced, Chris Klenakis, who spent one season with the Cyclones before departing for Louisville.
“He really goes the extra mile to make sure everyone, one, enjoys their time, and, two, to make sure there's mutual respect heading both ways,” Farniok said. “I felt like it was an us-versus-him thing in the past, whereas his biggest thing is stressing that we're in this together and really the whole (new) offensive staff communicates that.”
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