2008 Iowa State Cyclones Football Preview
2007 Iowa State Record: (3-9, 2-6 Big 12)
2007 Bowl: none
ISU Head Coach: Gene Chizik (3-9 at Iowa State, 3-9 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Robert McFarland
Defensive Coordinator: Wayne Bolt
Iowa State's Returning Leaders:
Other Key Returnees: CB Allen Bell, OT Doug Dedrick, C Brandon Johnson, G Reggie Stephens, DE Rashawn Parker
Key Losses: LB Jon Banks, WR Todd Blythe, LB Alvin Bowen, DT Bryce Braaksma, K Bret Culbertson, QB Bret Meyer, DT Ahtyba Rubin
The defense started to improve at the end of last season under defensive minded head coach Gene Chizik. Another year of development should mean the progress will continue and make bigger strides in 2008. Last year there were a handful of younger players who were thrust into a starting position. It hurt last season, but it is hoped that the experience they gained will pay dividends this year.
Iowa State's Strengths:
If they can stay healthy, Iowa State should have a decent group of running backs. J.J. Bass is back after missing a large portion of the 2007 season with an injury and will be back in his early 2007 form that saw him garner a couple 100 yard games. However, Alexander Robinson stepped in admirably as a freshman and is expected to continue this improvement. Jason Scales is the most experienced back on the team and will look for his share of the carries. With a majority of the offensive linemen returning, the Cyclones should have a much improved ground game.
Iowa State's Weaknesses:
And being able to run consistently will be extremely important while the quarterback situation sorts itself out. Austen Arnaud was the heir apparent to Bret Meyer, but Phillip Bates was impressive during the spring and could see some playing time with Arnaud. The two quarterback system might not be exactly what Coach Chizik was hoping for, but it could add another dynamic to the offense that could use all the tricks they can find. The defense lost a couple tackles and linebackers and finding quality players to replace the production of Ahtyba Rubin and Alvin Bowen will not be simple. Bowen was the heart and soul of the defense and linebackers Michael Bibbs and Josh Raven will at least have to pick up some of the production.
The Bottom Line for the Cyclones:
There is little doubt that the defense will get better and it was not even that bad last year. Time and time again the defense was put in a bad position due to the multitude of offensive turnovers and they did just about as well as anyone could expect. This year they will be even better and if the offense can stop turning the ball over the Cyclones defense will get the credit they deserve. That is a big ‘if,’ but as long as the new quarterbacks can effectively run the offense without making too many mistakes, the Iowa State defense will win a few games for the team.
2007 Iowa State Cyclones Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 123.67 (95th in nation, 10th in conference)
Passing Offense: 203.25 (78, 11)
Total Offense: 326.92 (102, 12)
Scoring Offense: 18.17 (111, 11)
Rushing Defense: 136.08 (44, 6)
Pass Defense: 254.25 (91, 5)
Total Defense: 390.33 (65, 7)
Scoring Defense: 31.75 (93, 10)
Turnover Margin: -.58 (101, 10)
Sacks: 1.67 (88, 9)
Sacks Allowed: 1.42 (24, 6)
By Joel Welser
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