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QB issues at Iowa State threatens season

Associated Press Modified: October 23, 2012 at 5:18 pm •  Published: October 23, 2012

AMES, Iowa (AP) — By the end of October, nearly every team in the country knows what it has and what it doesn't.

Iowa State has become the team without a quarterback.

Issues at the game's most important position have threatened to derail Iowa State's once-promising season. The Cyclones (4-3, 1-3 Big 12) have dropped three of their last four games after a 3-0 start in large part because of the league's worst passing attack.

It's gotten so bad that coach Paul Rhoads has made the starting job for Saturday's home game against Baylor (3-3, 0-3) a three-man race. Steele Jantz, Jared Barnett and untested freshman Sam Richardson will all compete in practice this week for the right to start against the Bears.

"I want to see who the best guy is on the field and then also playing into it is what's happened in games thus far this season," Rhoads said.

Unfortunately for Jantz and Barnett, they're used to such uncertainty. Each of them has been yanked from the No. 1 spot twice in the past year.

Jantz opened 2011 as the starter, only to lose the job to Barnett midway through the season. Barnett was then pulled in favor of Jantz early in Iowa State's loss to Rutgers in the Pinstripe Bowl. Jantz barely made it to conference play before the coaching staff went back to Barnett — who played so poorly in last week's 31-10 loss to Oklahoma State that Jantz finished the game.

The constant swapping has yet to produce any results. And since neither Jantz nor Barnett can seem to put it all together, the Cyclones have finally let option No. 3 get a serious crack at the job.

Richardson, a 6-foot-2, 207-pound native of Winter Park, Fla., was a three-star recruit who redshirted last season. He started his first eligible season far behind Jantz and Barnett and never came close to challenging either one.

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