Iowa State names Richardson starting QB

Iowa State Cyclones quarterback Sam Richardson

Reese Strickland/Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sport

New Iowa State OC Mark Mangino has answered the biggest question facing his new offense in Ames.

Winter Park, Florida native Sam Richardson beat out Grant Rohach to earn the starting nod at quarterback for the Cyclones when they open their season on Aug. 30 against North Dakota State, the three-time defending FCS national champions.

"He’s had a tremendous fall camp," Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads told reporters on Monday, while also complimenting Richardson’s leadership. "He’s been very much in control of our offense and in control of himself. His understanding of scheme and decision-making has really grown in the last two weeks."

Richardson won the job a year ago, but was benched late in the year in favor of Rohach, who topped 300 yards in a pair of wins to close 2013 and tossed six touchdowns with just two interceptions.  

Richardson finished the year with 1,397 yards, 11 touchdowns and six interceptions while completing 121-of-219 (55.3 percent) of his passes.

Rohach threw eight touchdowns to seven picks and had 1,208 yards. He completed 110-of-191 (57.6 percent) of his passes.

Richardson possesses exceptional mobility and contributed late in 2012 as a freshman, but battled an ankle injury for most of 2013.