Gene Chizik The Iowa State Cyclones open the season at home against South Dakota State. Coach Gene Chizik begins his second season at the helm and more than a dozen redshirt or true freshmen are in the two-deep for this game.

Chizik says even though they’re playing with some fresh new guys, he still expects them to be better. He says there will be growing pains, but he still expects them to be better.

South Dakota State is a newcomer to the one-double-a ranks and finished last season with a record of 7-4. He says they have a good returning quarterback and two big receivers. Chizik says in this day and age, it doesn’t matter what league you play in, as someone can rise up and beat you.

Austin Arnaud is the starter at quarterback though back-up Phillip Bates will also see action. He wants them to manage the offense and not turn the ball over. Chizik says they have to make plays to move the football team.

Arnaud is looking forward to his first start. He says it’s his third year and he’s been waiting to get back out and compete. The Cyclones stumbled out of the gate with two losses in 2007.

Arnaud says this team needs a better start, especially with all the young guys, so they can play with some confidence. It is the first time these teams have met since 1954. Kickoff in Jack Trice Stadium is seven o’clock.