Richardson said he's 85 to 90 percent healthy.
"I've definitely progressed with my ankle, and my groin is feeling better," he said. "So definitely feeling better and getting a grasp of what we want to do for Tulsa."
Iowa State needs a mobile quarterback because its offense relies on zone-read running plays and designed quarterback runs. Rhoads also wants a quarterback who can scramble when the protection breaks down.
Richardson couldn't do any of that against Iowa and it showed. The Cyclones didn't reach 100 yards of offense until midway through the third quarter.
"Tulsa's been hurt a number of times with the ad-lib of a quarterback (scrambling)," Rhoads said. "If that's out of our offense, it's hard to be fully effective as we go forward."
Even better news on the injury front for Iowa State: Center Tom Farniok, who hasn't played since injuring a knee in the opener, is healthy again and will start against Tulsa.
"He's a huge leader for us," Coleman said. "He gets everybody in that right direction. He's like another quarterback out there."
A healthy Farniok and Richardson certainly would enliven the offense. So would more production from the running backs.
Despite his bum ankle, Richardson leads the team in rushing with 86 yards. Running backs James White, Shontrelle Johnson and Aaron Wimberly have combined for 135 yards and the longest run by anyone in that trio went for just 10 yards.
Rhoads talked before the season about handing the ball often to the back who had the "hot hand." So what happened to that plan?
"We haven't had a hand, elbow or foot hot yet as far as that goes," he said. "We haven't been able to put that philosophy in play."