AMES — Iowa State's top playmaking wide receiver, Quenton Bundrage, failed to record a catch in Saturday's spring game.
Cause for concern? Probably not.
Bundrage, who tied a single-season school record with nine touchdown receptions last season, was most frequently targeted on deep balls — somewhat of a rarity during the wind-swept scrimmage.
And those failures to connect? Quarterback Grant Rohach fully shouldered the blame for the lack of completions.
“I was overthinking those,” said Rohach, who completed 22 of 38 passes for 171 yards and two interceptions. “Just overthrew them. I've got to account for the wind and I don't think I did on those. Just overthought them.”
So relax, Cyclone fans.
Bundrage will make eye-popping plays — and probably lots of them during his junior season, while he works at limiting drops.
“Quenton has a tendency to take his eyes off the ball on occasion,” ISU Coach Paul Rhoads said. “Then you have to throw in some bad balls early that would have been great catches had he made them.”
The issue with the dynamic 6-foot-2, 191-pound receiver is constant production — and that's being stressed not just to him, but the entire team.
Bundrage notched three games with multiple touchdown catches last season, including a three touchdown performance in a 27-21 loss to Iowa. He also had four games in which his total yards receiving stood at 16 or fewer, partially because of drops.
“There's no question he's proven he can make big plays,” Rhoads said. “We want him to make every play he has the opportunity to (make).”
Cyclone kicker Cole Netten nearly made a 62-yard field goal with the wind Saturday and impressed Rhoads with solid boots of 56 and 29 yards that split the uprights.
“I just started kicking him longer this past week,” Rhoads said. “He was excited about that and quickly responded to that challenge and said, 'Give me more of them on a daily basis.' From 40 in, he's been consistent all spring long.”
High school football fans in the Cedar Rapids area fully know Mitchell Harger, who starred at Alburnett to the tune off 40 touchdowns his senior season in 2011. Saturday, the sophomore walk-on for ISU led the team in rushing, with 55 yards on 15 carries. He wore the number 85. He's majoring in Aerospace Engineering.
3, 2 ... 1?
Rohach seems a lock to be one of the two leading No. 1 quarterback candidates coming out of spring ball.
Who joins him? Sam Richardson? Joel Lanning? Stay tuned — though there's no media availability this week, it may be a while before we find out.
“We will come out of spring with two leading candidates so we can better fit those reps in August,” Rhoads said. “And there comes a point that you really get concerned about timing and making sure the lead guy is getting the majority of those reps with those number ones.”
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