Unknown Rebels worry Cyclones

Jordan Gizzarelli

Saturday’s win over Ohio University marked Iowa State’s second consecutive season-opening win. Week two of the Cyclones’ 2000 football campaign presents a test against a UNLV team that the ISU coaching staff knows very little about. “We know an awful lot about them from last year, we don’t know much of anything about them this year cause we’ve played a game this year and they haven’t,” said ISU head coach Dan McCarney at his weekly press conference on Tuesday. UNLV’s lineup will feature its fourth different opening-day quarterback in as many years, a new tailback, and 16 junior college transfers. McCarney’s main concern is UNLV’s speed and their new quarterback transfer Jason Thomas, who will also don a basketball uniform for the Runnin’ Rebels in the winter. “A guy that can play Division I basketball and football must be a pretty good athlete, so we know he’s gonna be a real good player,” McCarney said, referring to Thomas. “We also know about Kevin Brown, over 1,000 yards rushing in the Pac 10, he’s an excellent back. And then (Jeremi) Rudolph of course, who we thought was a real fine player last year. They’re gonna be a real good test and we’re going to have to step it up defensively.” McCarney will try and match wits on Saturday with one of college football’s most recognizable names, John Robinson. Robinson, currently ninth in wins among active coaches, starts his second season at the helm of the UNLV football program. Robinson coached USC to a national championship in 1978 and took the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL to the playoffs six times, including two NFC Championship games. “I’m looking forward to getting a chance to coach against him. He’s one of the best coaches ever to stand on the sideline and ever put a whistle around his neck in college or in the NFL, so it’s an honor for me to coach against him,” McCarney said. McCarney announced Tuesday that Ben Beaudet and Marcel Howard will start Saturday for the offensive line, and also announced that senior Ryan Sloth will be this week’s honorary special-teams captain. His team is healthy with no injuries to report other than Chris Whitaker’s shin splints, and his outlook is optimistic for Saturday. “Half the teams in the country are 1-0 right now, we feel good to be there, we know that we’ve gotta step it up and improve this week and I fully anticipate that we will.”