Cyclones underdogs facing Bobcats

Jeff Stell

It continues to be an uphill climb towards respect for the ISU football team.

The Cyclones enter Saturday’s game at Ohio University as 2-point underdogs despite owning a better record and a 10-point victory over the Bobcats last season in Ames. The Cyclones are 1-0 while the Bobcats are 0-2.

Last season, the Cyclones finished 9-3 and claimed the school’s first ever bowl game victory.

Several key players were lost from that squad, and offensive lineman Marcel Howard feels that fact has a direct impact on the lack of respect the Cyclones receive.

“I think that [Saturday’s spread] shows the lack of respect this football program has around the country,” Howard said. “A lot of people think that just because we lost a lot of key players from last year we can’t do well this year, and it’s frustrating. That pushes us to be even better.”

The Bobcats are 0-2, but ISU head coach Dan McCarney knows that can be deceiving.

The Bobcats lost 31-29 to Akron and 20-3 to West Virginia, giving up 17 points in the final 13 minutes of the game.

“I’m not surprised to be the underdog in this game to be honest,” McCarney said. “When you look at what they’ve done, they’ve won eight of their last nine games at home, they got the third best rush offense in the country, so I’m not surprised. They’re an excellent football team.”

The Cyclones started last season with a 25-15 win over Ohio. The Cyclones trailed early and didn’t put the game away until a 73-yard touchdown run by Ennis Haywood in the third quarter.

The Bobcats return most of their squad which might account for being the favorite. Cyclone defensive back Marc Timmons isn’t worried about not being favored and doesn’t put much stock in the sports gambling world.

“We’re underdogs, but I guess that’s just what the people in Vegas think,” Timmons said. “All we control is what we do on the field. That’s the good thing about football, it’s always played on the field and the other stuff doesn’t really matter. I know we’re going to play Saturday, and that will solve it.”