Iowa State took the opening kickoff and drove 69 yards in eight plays to take the lead the Cyclones never gave up in winning their season opener 44-17 over South Dakota State. The Cyclone defense picked off the Jackrabitts four times in the first half, but the Cyclone offense had its own turnover trouble — with three lost fumbles — that kept them from pulling away until the second half..
Cyclone coach Gene Chizik says the defense helped out early on. He says they got themselves into some situations that weren’t good and the defense responded, as he says four interceptions is good from any defense. Chizik says it’s a great start for the defense after they’ve talked about being different from last year and getting turnovers.
It’s the start of Chizik’s second season as the head coach and says this first game was much better that last year’s, as he says any win is good, and although they made some mistakes, they did some good things and have some things to build on. Austen Arnaud started at quarterback and Phillip Bates also played according to the plan going in.
Chizik says he didn’t immediately see anything to separate the two. He says both showed some good things during the game, and both have some things they need to get better at. Arnaud threw for 98 yards and one touchdown, while Bates threw for 61 yards and a t-d. Overall, Chizik is pleased to get off to the 1-0 start.
The Cyclone defense set a school record with 202 reception yards, including a 37-yarder returned for a touchdown by Derec Schmidgall in the second half. Iowa State plays Kent State next Saturday at home.