Cyclones unsatisfied with season opener

Cyclones unsatisfied with season opener

Cyclones unsatisfied with season opener

Luke Plansky

As strange as it seems, there was a black lining in the ISU football team’s 44-17 win over South Dakota State.

Iowa State didn’t attempt a punt in Thursday’s game — a first for the program since 1989, and although the Cyclone defense forced six turnovers, after watching the gametape over the weekend, second-year coach Gene Chizik said he saw many imperfections.

“It would seem like we were just going to put on the tape and, you know, we’re ready to play the Patriots,” Chizik said. “But we’ve got a lot of work to do, and there were some very glaring mistakes that we’ve got to fix before we play Saturday night.”

Missed tackles, three turnovers and a potentially season-ending injury were some of the blemishes of a successful game last Thursday.

South Dakota State had just three points and 203 total yards through three quarters, but Chizik said the Jackrabbits gained 70 yards after missed tackles.

“I think guys were excited, and they were trying to fly around, and they were trying to play hard, and with that comes a little bit of out-of-control football players,” Chizik said. “But we’ve just got to temper them down and concentrate in on the things that make us better tackling — angles and things of that nature … [Defensive coordinator Wayne] Bolt has addressed that with the team already, and we’ll be working on that non-stop.”

The Cyclones forced six turnovers in the game — a third of last season’s cumulative total — 18. Chizik said turnovers “come in packs” and that Thursday’s total was encouraging to the coaching staff.

Iowa State gave up the ball three times, however, on a goal-line run by Alexander Robinson, a punt return by cornerback Devin McDowell and a scramble by quarterback Phillip Bates. Last season the Cyclones lost three turnovers to their next opponent, Kent State (0-1 overall), in a 23-14 loss to open the 2007 season.

“We had a missed assignment on the touchdown run for A-Rob, when the guy popped it out,” said quarterback Austen Arnaud. “And then on Phillip’s [fumble], it was kind of a deal where, you know, he kind of thought he could go the other way with it and then there was people there, and it was just kind of a bad situation there. And then Devin had that one. I mean you could say they were [first] game jitters, but it shouldn’t matter what game it is.”

The Cyclones used 11 true freshman in the game, while 10 players made their first career starts.

Cornerback Kennard Banks, a junior college transfer, broke his arm in his ISU debut and underwent surgery. The junior had three tackles in limited action, and was second on the depth chart at left corner.

Chizik said there is no timetable for his return. Banks is a likely candidate to apply for a medical redshirt.

“Kennard, he’s a great player,” said free safety James Smith. “I’m sure he’ll be back. He’s an aggressive guy, and he brings a lot of enthusiasm, so that’s one of the things that we lose with him. But I think overall, we can do that, too, but we’re going to miss him a lot.”