Earlier in the week, Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads suggested one upside of not naming a starting quarterback in advance was the wrench it throws into TCU's gameplan.
The Cyclones fan base and media responded with a collective raise of the eyebrow.
Wednesday evening, Rhoads said it goes a lot deeper than that.
"Every player, especially that position player, has nuances. I remember [Pitt] played [North Carolina State] in the Tangerine Bowl and one receiver always switched his feet when he ran a three-step slant. And we made a huge third-down stop because he did it in the game," Rhoads said.
"Those are the kinds of things. Maybe it's licking the fingers, maybe it's doing the towel one extra time. Things like that, what he does with his eyes, what he does with his shoulders.
"You're looking for any edge you can get. And on the [defensive] side of the ball, what hand do they have down in their stance, how much weight do they have [shifted], what's a guy doing with his eyes, how do they play man coverage with their feet? You're always looking for those things."
Rhoads hopes he'll be able to wake up Saturday morning knowing who his starting quarterback will be, though he's in the past gone with his gut during warmups on occasion.
As many players have taken to pressing, trying maniacally to end a five-game losing streak, Rhoads is backing off off. He spent Wednesday's practice watching the defense, simply because he didn't want to appear to be hovering over maligned offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham and the quarterbacks.
Rhoads will review film of Wednesday's practice tonight and consult with his coaches.
"I didn't necessarily stay at the defensive end to watch the defense practice," he said. "I stayed at the defensive end to stay away from the offense and not make those guys — coaches or players — worry about me looking over their shoulders."