Iowa State Cyclones
Aug. 28 South Dakota State
Sept. 6 Kent State
Sept. 13 @ Iowa
Sept. 20 @ UNLV
Oct. 4 Kansas
Oct. 11 @ Baylor
Oct. 18 Nebraska
Oct. 25 Texas A&M
Nov. 1 @ Oklahoma State
Nov. 8 @ Colorado
Nov. 15 Missouri
Nov. 22 @ Kansas State
2007 overall record
2007 conference record
Offense: 7, defense: 7, kicker/punter: 1
G Reggie Stephens, QB Austen Arnaud, RB Jason Scales, RB Alexander Robinson, WR R.J. Sumrall, G Ben Lamaak, DE Kurtis Taylor, LB Jesse Smith, CB Chris Singleton, S Chris Brown
QB Bret Meyer, WR Todd Blythe, LB Alvin Bowen, DT Bryce Braaksma, NG Ahtyba Rubin, TE Ben Barkema, LB Jon Banks
2007 statistical leaders (* returners)
: Alexander Robinson* (465 yds)
: Bret Meyer (2,151 yds)
: Todd Blythe* (779 yds)
: Alvin Bowen (99)
: Kurtis Taylor* (6.5)
: Chris Singleton* (4)
1. Backfield depth:
Coach Gene Chizik has found several potential contributors from a tailback group that includes sophomore Alexander Robinson
and seniors Jason Scales
and J.J. Bass
. All of them produced a 100-yard game last season. Robinson and Scales are hooked up in a tight battle, with Bass behind after he was suspended late in spring practice. Look for Chizik to utilize a combination of players to fill this hole, depending on game situations.
2. Lyle steps up:
Defensive end Christopher Lyle, a transfer from Butler (Kan.) Community College, produced several big plays late in camp, including a sack and two tackles for losses in the spring game. Lyle and Kurtis Brown will be a big upgrade as pass-rushing threats for a Cyclone defense that needs more consistent pressure against opposing quarterbacks.
3. Lamaak settles at guard:
Converted high-school quarterback Ben Lamaak, a 6-4, 320-pounder who has played eight positions in college, has become comfortable at guard along with tackle. Lamaak started every game last season as a freshman at tackle, but could be better suited by moving inside. "He came here to play tight end," ISU quarterback Austen Arnaud
told the Des Moines Register. "I guess they say he ate his way out of it."
1. Settle on a QB:
Austen Arnaud and converted WR Phillip Bates
are locked in a tight battle for the starting job to replace Bret Meyer
. Bates surprised ISU coaches with his quick grasp of the offense -- enough that Chizik is talking about alternating them during the fall. "We expected Austen to be further along, which he was," Chizik said. "But Phillip is closing the gap a good bit."
2. Offensive playmakers:
The Cyclones' moribund offense ranked last in the Big 12 with an average of 18.2 points per game last season, producing just 3.1 yards per care and 9.6 yards per catch. Bates said the Cyclones will be fine in the fall. "We can take it from anywhere," he said. "Coach has put us in the right situation. If we're in the open field, we just have to take it to the house."
3. Help in the trenches:
With both starting tackles gone from last season, defensive coordinator Wayne Bolt was looking for some help inside. Two-year letter-winner Nate Frere has the edge at nose guard over freshman Jerrod Black and Bailey Johnson are in front of Chris Weir at defensive tackle. Development against the run will be important for a young group without much game experience.