Arnaud will get gradual chances
Ames, Ia. - There was a brief moment during Saturday's postgame news conference when an Iowa State player smiled.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Austen Arnaud was asked what it was like to make his college football debut.
"It was definitely exciting," Arnaud beamed. Then, the grin faded. "But I was brought down to earth real quick by the deficit we were in."
Arnaud's appearance in the third quarter of Saturday's loss to Northern Iowa could provide an intriguing subplot heading into this week's showdown with Iowa.
It may also add to the uncertainty surrounding the Cyclones following an 0-2 start.
"We just feel like we've got to work a young guy in," coach Gene Chizik said. "I think you'll see a little bit more of that as we go.
"We're going to try and attempt to get a new quarterback in there, just to kind of break it up and get a young guy experience, and see what he does."
Arnaud, a former prep star from Ames, replaced starter Bret Meyer with 7:51 remaining in the third period.
His first pass was complete to R.J. Sumrall for 11 yards.
"He did some good things," Chizik said. "Of course, I think he did some things that he could get better at.
"On the outside (without looking at tape), he seemed to do OK."
Arnaud led Iowa State from its 30-yard line to the Panthers' 31. The drive ended with an incomplete pass on fourth-and-6.
Meyer returned on the next series.
"We talked about being ready," Arnaud said when asked if he expected to play. "We always can get better, and that's what we will try to do starting (Sunday)."
Meyer wore a somber expression for the second straight week.
The senior from Atlantic has thrown four interceptions and one touchdown this season. Two of the interceptions have resulted in 10 points for the opposition.
"We talked," Meyer said of he and the coaches. "They told me on Thursday that (Arnaud) was going to get a series in the second half."
Meyer finished 27-of-43 passing Saturday for 255 yards. Arnaud was 2-of-4 for 15 yards.
Iowa State's offense took 84 snaps and registered 25 first downs - the most since Oct. 29, 2005 - but went nearly 40 minutes without scoring.
"We stubbed our toe in a lot of different ways," Chizik said.
Since beating Northern Iowa a year ago, The Cyclones have averaged 14.8 points in nine games.
They'll face a Hawkeye defense this weekend that just shut out Syracuse and held Northern Illinois to a field goal.
"We all understand what we have to do, get comfortable with the offense," Meyer said. "I think we just need to focus on winning."
Re: Arnaud will get gradual chances
I think with Meyer (and with Blythe too, to a lesser degree) what we are seeing is the fallout of the Macarney hype machine. These guys are fine players, but nowhere near as good as they (and fans) were told. Has to play hell with your psychology; and make you less apt to improve.