After nearly a month of pre-season practice the Iowa State Cyclones are just days from opening their season. I-S-U will host Toledo on Thursday night and coach Dan McCarney and his staff are making final preparations. McCarney says they don’t have to decide who will start, but have to decide how much the backups will play.
The Cyclones host a Toledo team that has posted it’s share of upsets in recent years. The Rockets have beaten four top-25 teams in the last three seasons, and McCarney says that gets the attention of the players. McCarney says Toledo’s accomplishment is “tremendous.”
Moving the football should not be a problem for the Cyclones. Stopping opponents is the concern. McCarney says they’re experienced on offense, but the defense is the youngest he’s had since he’s been there.
In fact a couple of true freshman will start on the defensive front:, tackle Nate Frere and rush end Rashawn Parker. McCarney says he rarely starts freshmen, but he says these guys are the best and injuries to some players and the loss of others, requires him to start them.
McCarney says freshman Austen Arnaud has won the job as back-up to quarterback Bret Meyer but he still could redshirt. McCarney says if Meyer is healthy all year long, they’ll redshirt Arnaud. McCarney says if Meyer has an equipment problem or something like that, Kyle Van Winkle will go in, but if Meyer is out for some time, Arnaud is the second best quarterback.
McCarney says the Cyclones don’t want to be in a position where they need to outscore everybody. McCarney says they won’t be as good Thursday as they were at the end of last year, but says they will get better. McCarney says though the idea that they’ll have to outscore everybody on offense is “happy horse crap.” Iowa State and Toledo kick off in Ames at 7 p.m. Thursday.