Friends become foes

Emily Arthur

Just a year ago, ISU associate head coach Terry Allen was coaching the Kansas Jayhawks.

On Saturday, he’ll be on the opposite sideline, helping the Cyclones execute their game plan.

“It’s going to be a difficult day for my five- and seven-year-olds,” Allen said.

“They’re going to be a little confused.”

Allen was the head football coach at Kansas from 1997 to 2001 but was fired before the Cyclones and Jayhawks met in Lawrence, Kan. last season.

Iowa State went on to win the game 49-7, but ISU head coach Dan McCarney said last year’s outcome will have no bearing on Saturday’s game.

“The score last year, nine months ago, really has nothing to do with this game,” he said.

“Their heart was cut out of them at the time we played them, and there was not a lot to play for.”

Allen said he still feels bad about the way things happened.

“You pretty much have mixed emotions,” he said. “The way it was handled, I abandoned those guys. I feel bad for them.”

Although it was a difficult time, Allen said he’s grateful for the opportunity to work with McCarney and the rest of the staff.

“Mac’s a hell of a guy,” he said.

“Being an assistant and getting back on the field . . . I couldn’t be happier.”

And Allen’s familiarity with the Jayhawks may also end up helping Iowa State.

“He gave an in-depth scouting support [Monday], and he knows a lot of the players and knows a lot about them,” Iowa State’s Jordan Carstens said.

“He brought that to this game, and I think that’s going to help us.”

Allen may not have a chance to reflect too much about the team on the other side of the field when the Jayhawks and Cyclones face off on Saturday.

McCarney said his staff will have their hands full.

“We’re going to find out an awful lot in those first couple series, and that’s going to be really important,” McCarney said.

“We’ve got to be at our best as coaches to make adjustments not knowing what they’re going to do.”