The Iowa State Cyclones take a 3-0 record into their Big 12 opener at home against Texas Tech. ISU coach Paul Rhoads says the Cyclones hope to make some noise in the race this season.
“Anything preseason, nationally or conference wise I think is hard to put any weight to,” Rhoads says. He says now that the games are going to get deeper into the schedule, things will sort out in a hurry.
Rhoads says senior quarterback Steele Jantz wants to help erase the memories of Iowa State’s 0-4 start in the Big-12 race a year ago. “There’s not question he’s a better quarterback than he was a year ago, I’m sure redemption is on his mind,” Rhoads says.
Rhoads says quarterback Seth Doege is a big reason for Tech’s 3-0 start. Doege has 12 touchdown passes and just one interception in three games. “He hardly throws any incompletions and he hardly throws any interceptions, pretty good qualities for a quarterback to posess,” Rhoads says. He says they are scoring 50 plus points a game and Doege is a big part of that.
The game kicks off at 6 p.m.
The Iowa Hawkeyes open the Big Ten race at home against Minnesota. The Gophers are 4-0 despite being without starting quarterback MarQueis Gray who has a sprained ankle.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz says the loss of their top player hasn’t slowed them down at all and that is impressive. He says Minnesota has made big strides on defense. “I think they’re faster, more athletic and just playing faster,” Ferentz says.
There’s good reason that North Dakota State is the top ranked team in the FCS, according to U.N.I. football coach Mark Farley. The Panthers host the defending national champion Bison Saturday night, and Farley says that NDSU hasn’t skipped a beat from last season.
He says they’ve have changed a little bit with changes in personel, but overall they haven’t changed and that’s what makes them good.
Farley says that North Dakota State had a strong program long before they joined FCS, so it is no surprise to see them reach the top of the division.
Farley says that when comparing the Bison to U.N.I.’s other opponents this season, they play a very similar style to Wisconsin on offense and more dynamic with play-action passes. U.N.I. and North Dakota State are set for a 6:00 kickoff in the UNI-Dome Saturday night.
Jesse Gavin KCNZ Cedar Falls contribute to this report.