Arnaud and Bates share time at QB spot

Michael Zogg

Another week has come and gone for Cyclone football, and the quarterback situation hasn’t gotten any clearer.

In week one against South Dakota State, sophomore Austen Arnaud seemed to take control of the quarterback position when he played about two-thirds of the game in a 44-17 win.

That was not the case against Kent State on Saturday, however, when Arnaud and fellow sophomore Phillip Bates each had seven possessions.

The Cyclones do not appear to be closer to picking a full-time starter.

“We will look at the film [on Sunday], we had a plan going in,” said coach Gene Chizik. “Coach McFarland has a great plan with both those guys every week. We have a way we are going to start, and we see how the game unfolds, and we play them accordingly.”

The coaches seem pretty pleased with both quarterbacks’ play.

“Tonight was a great example of both guys making some plays, both guys moving our football team,” Chizik said.

It’s not just the coaches who like Arnaud and Bates. Both quarterbacks also feel the team believes in them.

“The offense has confidence in us. The o-line, the receivers, they all know that there is a different person coming in, but it is the same threat,” Arnaud said.

The team has been consistent with both quarterbacks. In the first half, the Cyclones scored 14 points with each player at quarterback, then in the second half, Arnaud edged Bates by two field goals as the team scored 13 points with him in the game to Bates’ seven points.

Although the team scores fairly consistently with both quarterbacks, they play differently depending on who is in. With Arnaud, the Cyclones pass the ball a little bit more. He went 12 for 16 with 166 yards and a touchdown on Saturday. With Bates in, Iowa State ran more. Bates rushed for 83 yards on eight rushes.

Both quarterbacks are versatile, however, as Iowa State isn’t afraid to run with Arnaud — eight rushes for 25 yards — or pass with Bates — 3 for 6 with 68 yards and a touchdown.

Even though the Cyclones are happy with each quarterback, they still have work to do.

“We have to get better as a whole football team, and the quarterback position is no exception,” Chizik said.

Possibly the most glaring mistake by a quarterback was Arnaud’s fumble in the first quarter that led to a Kent State touchdown three plays later.

“I had a fumble tonight and I almost had two, I mean, I just can’t do that to the team,” Arnaud said.

Bates didn’t feel he played flawlessly either.

“There are still some things that I need to clean up,” Bates said. “I missed two dudes, wide open tonight. I missed R.J. [Sumrall] and then I missed [Jason] Scales down the sideline.”

Despite these miscues, the Cyclones seem pleased with the way their quarterbacks are looking early in the season.

“We didn’t play perfect at quarterback tonight by any stretch of the imagination, but I think they did enough things well, obviously, for us to win,” Chizik said.