By Austen Arnaud of CycloneFanatic.com
Former Iowa State quarterback Austen Arnaud gives his top five keys to a Cyclone victory on Saturday night against Northern Iowa.
1 – Establish the Run – Iowa State must do this early and often. Coach Rhoads’ emphasis as a coach is to always establish the run from an offensive standpoint. Northern Iowa’s defensive line will be undersized but athletic. However, Iowa State’s offensive line should handle them and let whatever running back that might be carrying the ball get loose. With a good running game, everything will be a lot easier for Steele Jantz, as he won’t be behind the chains and have to force things when the down and distance is against him.
2 – Containing Tirrell Rennie – Iowa State did a great job of this last year causing Northern Iowa’s quarterback to turn it over multiple times. However, Rennie has redemption on his mind. It will be important for Iowa State defensive ends to help keep the edge of that defense wide and up field containing Rennie. Help from Jake Knott and C.J. Morgan to scrape the outside of the defense when seeing the Zone Read play, which UNI runs a lot is important too.
3 – Start Fast – Iowa State must have a fast start against the Panthers, mainly because UNI is a good football team and letting them hang around can lead to disaster. We have to establish dominance from the opening kick. If Iowa State gets out to a big lead early, UNI will let doubt creep into their minds.
4 – Front 7 – If Iowa State’s front seven can get penetration and rattle Rennie, that will only help. Last year, we got to him and made him turn it over. Rennie is a player that likes to do it all himself, which was part of his demise last year against the Cyclones. He was harassed and forced into making dumb decisions.
5 – Steele Jantz – FCS or not, we can all agree that UNI is very good football team. UNI will find ways to create pressure and get to Steele Jantz. What makes Jantz a great player in my opinion is the quickness with which he can step up to run or step to make a throw in the pocket. With a lot of spread offenses they go as the quarterback goes. Therefore the less mistakes Steele makes the more successful the Cyclones will be.