The Iowa State Cyclones get ready for their Big-12 Conference opener at home this weekend against 17th ranked Texas. The Cyclones are 3-0 and have not played since a September 16th win at UCONN.
I.S.U. coach Paul Rhoads says they accomplished everything they wanted to during the week off, which was to rest, rehab and recruit. He says they had a very good practice to get the week started.
The Cyclones may be considered a surprise to many around college football but not to the players and coaches. Rhoads says they think they are improved everywhere from talent on campus to their development and knowledge of what they are doing.
Iowa State beat Texas in Austin last year and the Longhorns finished the season with a record of 5-7. Rhoads says this Texas team is much better. He says they have a different energy that you can see in how they play. A third straight sellout is expected and Rhoads says the atmosphere on Saturday night will be electric.
He says it will be everything the first two home games have been and he says the players appreciate that. The Cyclones are 3-0 despite slow starts and Rhoads says they hope to change that. He says they continue focusing on the game plan and executing overall at the start of games.
Rhoads says the Cyclones know that if they can pick off Texas they will get into the national rankings for the first time since 2002. He says he doesn’t put his head in the sand on those type of things and says they would love to be ranked, but they have to go out and earn it and beat a “tremendous, tremendous football team.”
Like Iowa State, Texas opened the season trying to get into the top-25. Now, The Longhorns hope to climb even higher.
Texas coach Mack Brown says it was the first time they have been out of the top 25 since he took over and they feel they should be in the top five. Brown says he has been impressed with the Iowa State defense as they are tough up front and have a great secondary with two guys he says will be in the NFL next year.
Brown feels the Cyclones deserve to be rated as he says they are fighting hard and have better players than they have had in many years.
Brown says this will be a tough challenge for his team with a huge crowd and he says they got outplayed, outcoached and out hit in their loss at home to the Cyclones last year.
Texas is also 3-0.