The Iowa State Cyclones are ready for some football.
At least their coach thinks so. Sort of.
The team went through a mock game last Thursday night under the lights at Jack Trice Stadium, exactly a week ahead of this Thursday’s season opener against North Dakota State.
Paul Rhoads put his team through nearly three hours of work. Routine — and some not so routine — situations they would face this week when the bullets start flying. Punt team, field goals, change of possession… any and every kind of game preparation that involves substituting on the go in a live situation.
“I wanted to go from A to Z on exacty what is going to take place,” Rhoads said. “I don’t like surprises when you can avoid them and we can avoid them.”
He was happy with the results. Unfortunately, the best laid plans don’t always go the way we hope.
“We’ve got it covered, but 18-, 19-, 20-year-old kids forget. They don’t always have the ability to focus all the way through,” he said. “Somebody that night is going to do this wrong or that wrong. That’s part of. That’s why you’ve got to repeat, repeat, repeat everything you are doing from a coaching standpoint.”
He’s got a few more days to drill his messages into players’ heads.
Captains for the season, which were decided by player voting, are as follows:
Offense – OL Reggie Stephens, QB Austen Arnaud
Defense – FS James Smith, DT Nate Frere
Special teams – LB Derec Schmidgall (kick coverage, holder)
All but Arnaud are seniors and will play an integral role in the fortunes of this year’s team.