Iowa State opens the new season by hosting three time defending FCS champion North Dakota State. The Cyclones hope for a better start this season after falling to UNI in last year’s opener. “You don’t have to spend much time emphasizing how we started the season last year and the challenge this year is just as hard, just as great,” Cyclone coach Paul Rhoads says.

He says the first game can set the tone for the season, and says he probably places more emphasis on it than most coaches. He says the start of the season last year was impacted by the opening game loss.

North Dakota State enters the season with a 24 game winning streak. Rhoads says they play in a competitive league and they’ve had to have a great focus to do what they have done. “It’s nothing short of remarkable what they’ve accomplished up there in Fargo,” Rhoads says.