Iowa State hosts UNI Saturday night in the 25th meeting in the series. The Cyclones will be looking to hand first-year coach Gene Chizik his first win but the coach knows this will be a tough game. Chizik says UNI played great against the Cyclones last year and will be a great opponent.
Chizik says the difference in the levels between what was once 1A and 1AA is not what it used to be. He says there’s more parity than people realize, and says there’s a lot of great football teams that don’t have 85 scholarships, they have 63. Chizik says teams from the larger conferences have everything to lose in a game like this, because if you win, you’re supposed to win.
UNI coach Mark Farley says the Cyclones are a different team this year. He says the players are coached in a different way that you can see on film. Farley says they have to go on that, and can’t go with what they did last year.
Iowa State returned a punt for a touchdown and UNI missed what would have been a game winning field goal in the waning seconds in a 28-27 Cyclone victory a year ago. Farley says special teams have be a major factor, again. Farley says you don’t know what kind of night you’re going to have, there could be a breeze that is a factor.
Farley says being an in-state game adds even more to this series. He says they play Iowa State the same way they play anybody, they believe they can step on the field and play with anyone. Farley says whatever happened last year doesn’t matter. Farley says both teams will be well prepared and ready to go.
The Iowa Hawkeyes open the home season under the lights against Syracuse. The Hawks are heavily favored after winning their season opener last week against Northern Illinois but they needed double overtime a year ago to down the Orangemen.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz says all they have to do is look back to last year’s game and know they can expect the same thing again. Ferentz hopes his team remembers how difficult it was last year. Iowa’s run defense was stout against Northern Illinois and Ferentz expects Syracuse to try and move the ball with short passes.
Ferentz says people will try to throw the ball against them all season long and they’ll try to survive and prevent the big plays.