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Iowa State Breakdown: Wide Receivers

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Wide Receivers Along with the offensive line, the wide receivers really came to play on Saturday. Limas Sweed has become everything he said he would become, and I couldn't be happier for him. He's playing physically, running strong routes, racking up yards and touchdowns, and playing with a fire and confidence that this offense really needs. If you have to give an offensive MVP at this stage of the season, I don't think there's any question that it's Sweed.

And how about Quan Cosby? He only caught one ball (13 yards), but his 34 yard pass on a reverse was a beauty that helped set up a Texas score. Billy Pittman finally showed up for the 2006 season, too, hauling in three passes for 45 yards, one of which could have been even bigger had he not stepped out of bounds.

And that's before we get to Finley, who had the catch of the season when he bailed out McCoy's throw into double coverage. We've heard all about what a physcial speciment Finley is. Saturday we saw it in action. The throw itself wasn't a good one, but the effort both in this game and the Rice game to involve him is a great sign in the development of the pass game.

The fact is, with Limas' all-conference play, Finley's emergence, and the talented trio of Pittman-Cosby-Shipley, the unit is justifying our preseason hype when we called them the class of the Big 12. You can't really overstate how good Limas has been, and it has very suddenly become a situation where defensive coordinators need to think really hard about leaving him to pick on corners in single coverage. The impact that has on the offense is huge. If you commit to stopping Texas' potent rushing game, you're risking a lot by leaving Sweed on an island. If you do commit to limiting the damage Sweed does, you're at risk of letting Texas' tailbacks run you out of the stadium.

With just a 25% improvement from McCoy, this offense has the chance to be one of the best in the country. It's already a very solid one, and it's close to being a great one. How McCoy develops over the next 2-3 weeks will tell us if this is going to be a BCS, or a 2-3 loss, team.

The only negative marks for the receivers comes from Myron Hardy's inexplicable laziness on the Colt interception. The ball was not thrown well, but Hardy's going to grimmace when he watches the film and sees the video of him making no effort to come back for the ball. It was a head-shaking play. Still, not enough to drag down the performance of the group as a whole, who earn an A-.

--PB--