AMES — Worst-case scenario.
That’s what went down in Ames during Iowa State’s season opening 34-14 loss to North Dakota State on Saturday.
After jumping out to an early 14-0 lead, Iowa State lost starters Tom Farniok and Quenton Bundrage to injury. That was it. The Cyclones couldn’t recover and were effectively manhandled by an FCS opponent for the second year in a row.
North Dakota State gashed Iowa State’s defense for 501 total yards, with 299 of them coming on the ground.
Iowa State’s offense simply stood still after losing Farniok. It did nothing. Under first-year coordinator Mark Mangino, the Cyclones gained a measly 253 yards in the defeat.
Starting quarterback Sam Richardson threw two interceptions on a 20-for-31 day.
It won’t get any easier next week either. Nationally-ranked Kansas State will invadeAmesfor another 11 a.m. kick.
Check out CycloneFanatic.com later today for complete coverage of Paul Rhoads’ postgame press conference, analysis on the loss and more.