Cyclones hope to avoid repeat of ’07

Cyclones hope to avoid repeat of 07

Cyclones hope to avoid repeat of ’07

Luke Plansky

The Iowa State football team doesn’t scare Kent State.

The Golden Flashes beat the Cyclones, 23-14, in Jack Trice Stadium last August. Coach Gene Chizik expects a confident opponent to return to Ames on Saturday.

“They’re not shaking in their shoes at Iowa State, I can promise you that,” Chizik said. “It will be a great game for us to see if we’ve gotten any better from game one to game two.”

Last week, Iowa State dominated South Dakota State, a Football Championship Subdivision (I-AA) team, 44-17. “By no means have we arrived at all [despite the decided victory],” Chizik said.

“We did so many things that we need to correct, that we’re not good on every side of the ball — on special teams, everywhere. But it was a good starting point, and we got away with a win,” Chizik said. “[The team] ought to come back focused and ready to go, because they know, in certain situations, we did not play well.”

The Golden Flashes are winless after losing to Boston College, 21-0, in week one. Kent State fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter and struggled to move the ball throughout the game, driving within the BC redzone once in the game.

Kent State coach Doug Martin said he doesn’t think last year’s win over the Cyclones is an advantage.

“In fact, I think Iowa State will be even more focused,” Martin said. “They are a much, much better football team than they were last year.”

The fifth-year coach said he thinks Iowa State has better team speed on defense and are more comfortable with the schemes of the second-year coaching staff.

Sophomore quarterback Austen Arnaud will make his second start for the Cyclones Saturday, but Chizik said he thought sophomore Phillip Bates made a solid debut in four possessions of playing time.

“Austen, I think, managed the offense really well and looked like he was very under control, made some nice plays,” Chizik said. “Phillip, obviously, he had one turnover, but Phillip did a lot of nice things, and for Phillip’s first game as a quarterback, he really came to the plate and delivered on more than one occasion … I think both of them showed that they can play quarterback in the Big 12.”

Martin said facing two quarterbacks causes problems.

“You kind of have two gameplans going, but there’s not — they don’t do a great deal [differently with Arnaud and Bates] right now just in one game, looking at the quarterbacks,” he said. “But you can see where they have more plans to expand [the gameplan] for each one of them, so it could be difficult.”

Chizik said Iowa State used “small chunks” of its offensive playbook in week one, and is trying to get better at the basics.

“You’ve got to get good at something, so you take your base stuff and you try to get good at it,” Chizik said. “We’ll do a little bit more this week, but we’ve got to get good at the same stuff. You are what you are on offense and defense in your first game — base teaching-wise. I think that’s everybody in the country. And then you give a little bit more as time goes on.”