AMES, Iowa – Iowa State running backs coach and special teams coordinator Jay Boulware said after practice Thursday that kicking the ball off from the 30-yard line this season has not changed his focus throughout 2007 preseason practice. The ISU coach says the Cyclones are in game week mode.

“Teams have always sought out good returners, so I don’t see that effecting recruiting at all,” Boulware said. “Earlier in preseason practice we had more time to meet and teach fundamentals having to do with special teams. At this point we have practiced at night to help our returners prepare (for the Kent State game).

Iowa State linebacker Alvin Bowen has watched film on Kent State.

“Their quarterback makes you respect his ability to run and to pass,” Bowen said. “We know this is a very, very good football team that we will be facing. They have had our attention from the start.”

The Cyclones open the season Thursday at 7 p.m. against Kent State in Jack Trice Stadium.