Iowa State football coach Gene Chizik says Thursday night’s opener against Kent State cannot get here soon enough. Not only will it be Chizik’s debut as Cyclone coach it will also be his first game as a head coach. "I’m fired up .. I am so stink’in fired up, it can’t get here quick enough," Chizik says.
It will be a new role for Chizik who most recently served as defensive coordinator at Texas and Auburn. Chizik says it will be a little different venue for him, but says he’s excited about. Chizik says he has not felt this way about a game since Texas was preparing to play USC for the national championship in the 2006 Rose Bowl. He says it’s something where it is hard to wait to get going.
Chizik is not the only one excited for the new season. ISU sold an all-time record of nearly 36,000 season tickets. Chizik says the excitement around the program has rubbed off on the players, as he says they hear about it walking the street. He says that’s what they want, the excitement building, and says it speaks volumes about where the program is headed.
Chizik wants the added fans to help make Jack Trice Stadium a bigger home field advantage. Chizik says he wants the place to get "juiced up" and wants the people to get fired up. Chizik says the fans shouldn’t hide their passion.
Fans will see one rule change right away. NCAA officials have moved the kickoff five yards back to the 30-yard-line. Chizik says the change will have a major impact, as it puts a premium on kickoff coverage.