Iowa State Cyclones Football Season Preview History
2011 Iowa State Football Preview:
When Paul Rhoads came to Ames, he caused a whirlwind of interest in the Cyclones when he led the team to a winning record and bowl berth after a 2-10 season. However, in 2010 things didn’t go as well the second time around as ISU ended with a 5-7 record. In 2011, they’re looking to right the ship with a revamped offense and defense.
Offensively, the Cyclones are at a loss with last year’s passer Austen Arnaud out of the game thanks to a knee injury he suffered last season. That leaves the team having to choose between juniors Jerome Tiller and Steele Jantz, who enter the pre-season ready to overtake the other on the depth chart. Behind them, sophomores Shontrelle Johnson and Jeff Woody will share carries, while the wide-outs feature seniors Darius Reynolds and Darius Darks looking to finish their careers in Ames with a bang.
Defensively, the strength of the Cyclones rides with their secondary. Seniors Ter'Ran Benton and Leonard Johnson are shut-down corners who are biding their time before hitting the Sunday stage. However, their showcase for ISU is a bit of a catch-22, since it has to do with a lack of pass-rush up front. Last season, the Cyclones only mustered 11 sacks from their defensive line. This year, the unit is looking to senior end Jacob Lattimer and nose tackle Stephen Ruempolhamer for leadership that will help take the Cyclones to the next level in the Big 12.
2010 Iowa State Football Preview:
Iowa State had a relatively successful season under first-year coach Paul Rhoads in 2009. The cyclones finished 7-6 with a win over Minnesota in the Insight Bowl. Thanks to a schedule that gives them tough games against Oklahoma and Texas on the road, it may be difficult to improve on that mark.
Quarterback Austen Arnaud returns for his senior season and will have to cut down on interceptions to bring this offense to the next level. Arnaud tossed 13 inteceptions in 2009, only one less than his 14 touchdowns. Senior Alexander Robinson joins Arnaud in the backfield and is coming off an especially productive year as a junior. Robinson accumulated 1,456 yards from scrimmage and nine touchdowns. Junior Darius Darks anchors a solid receiving corps.
Defense was a big problem for the Cyclones last season, as they finished second-to-last in the conference in allowing 415.9 yards per game. Defensive coordinator Tom Herman welcomes in three new starters at linebacker, so how the front seven performs remains to be seen.
Another bowl appearance can happen depending on whether or not Arnaud progresses as a passer, as he has a wealth of talent around him. However, it would be very surprising if this team can do better than another record around .500.
2009 Iowa State Football Preview:
Head Coach: Gene Chizik
2009 will be a rebuilding year for the Iowa State Cyclones. Gone is former Head Coach Gene Chizik, who took the top job at Auburn. In his place is new ISU Head Coach Paul Rhoads. Rhoads comes to the Cyclones from Auburn, where he was the defensive coordinator for a few seasons. That experience on defense will be key to the Cyclones success, because the Big 12 Conference fields some of the top offensive teams in college football.
2008 Iowa State Football Preview:
Head Coach: Gene Chizik
The Iowa State Cyclones are coming off a tough season in the Big 12 in 2007, but with head coach Gene Chizik only in his first year, the Cyclones appear to have a bright future under his leadership. The Cyclones play football in one of the toughest divisions in one of the toughest conferences in the country, the Big 12. Iowa State has to compete with perennial titans like Nebraska and Kansas State as well as upstart teams like Missouri and Kansas. And let’s not forget Texas and Oklahoma in the South Division. Jack Trice Stadium will be flooded with Cyclones fans excited to see what’s next in the Chizik era, and rooting for the home team to climb in the conference ranks and play for a Big 12 Championship and a bowl game in 2008.