The Iowa State Cyclones will play their regular season finale against nationally-ranked Missouri without starting quarterback Austen Arnaud. The Ames native suffered a career ending knee injury in ISU’s 34-14 loss at Colorado.
Cyclone coach Paul Rhoads feels bad that Arnaud won’t be able to play on his senior day. He says a lot of people have had such injuries, but it is tough to have it happen when your senior day is coming up in your home town, but he says Arnaud will push on, rehab and be ready for the next stage of his life.
Rhoads says Arnaud has been as great leader for the team, who answers all questions in good and bad times, a two-time captain and a “neat young man.” Jerome Tiller will start at quarterback and Rhoads says they won’t need to make big changes on offense as they both have the same skills, but accomplish things in a different fashion.
The Cyclones need a victory to become bowl eligible, as Rhoads says the season comes down to “one great big opportunity here at home against the 15th ranked Missouri Tigers.” He says they can become bowl eligible, even their record at 5-5, and far exceed everyone’s expectations. But to do that Rhoads says they will need to have a great week of focus, preparation and execution on Saturday night.
Arnaud says while he is disappointed his season has been cut short he feels fortunate that he had a lengthy career at Iowa State. Arnaud says he’s played a lot of meaningful games in the stadium and feels fortunate to have played as many games without a serious injury. Arnaud’s I.S.U. career featured two coaching changes, and he says he’s talked to all the coaches in the past couple of days about what happened and says he’s fortunate to have so much support.
Arnaud says his role this week is as a coach and he wants to get Jerome Tiller ready for Missouri, as he says the team has confidence in Tiller and the offense shouldn’t skip a beat.