Editor’s note: In preparation of the upcoming football season, K-Stated will look ahead to all 12 games on the Wildcats’ 2010 schedule. Next up, Missouri State.
Iowa State was the first Big 12 team to start its football season last night.
The Cyclones took on Northern Illinois and won 27-10. The win itself isn’t all that impressive. After all, Big 12 teams are supposed to beat MAC opponents by three (or more) scores.
But Iowa State did look good in several areas. Running back Alexander Robinson, who rushed for 1,195 yards last season, ran for 97 yards and two touchdowns, and quarterback Austen Arnaud added 265 yards through the air.
The Cyclones scored the game’s first 17 points, but allowed Northern Illinois to cut the score to 17-10 in the fourth quarter.
Robinson punched in a five-yard touchdown run with 5:05 remaining to put the game out of reach, though.
That kind of toughness is expected out of a team that went 7-6 last season and won the Insight Bowl. With Arnaud and Robinson back, the Cyclones’ offense figures to be better than it was a year ago.
With coach Paul Rhoads (who did a fabulous job in Year One) now in his second year things should be smoother overall.
But wins like the one Iowa State grabbed Thursday could be hard to come by as the season wears on. The Cyclones next two games are at Iowa and vs. Kansas State in Arrowhead Stadium. Iowa State lost both of those last season.
Next up is a slight reprieve against Northern Iowa, but then comes Texas Tech, Utah and trips to Oklahoma and Texas. Ouch. That’s a tough stretch.
Rounding out Iowa State’s season are games against Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado and Missouri.
Some have called it the hardest schedule in the country.
So, again, toss-up games are going to be uber important for the Cyclones. The K-State game in Kansas City will be one of those affairs. The Wildcats left Arrowhead Stadium victorious last season thanks to a last-second blocked extra point by Emmanuel Lamur.
Iowa State will likely enter the game with a 1-1 record, and will be eager to move back above .500.
Everything else you need to know about this game:
When: Sept. 18
Where: Kansas City, MO.
Iowa State in 2009: 7-6, 3-5
Iowa State schedule: Northern Illinois, at Iowa, vs. Kansas State, Northern Iowa, Texas Tech, Utah, at Oklahoma, at Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, at Colorado, Missouri
Other Factoids: Iowa State won one of the biggest games in its recent history last season at Nebraska. Thanks to loads of Cornhuskers turnovers, the Cyclones defeated Nebraska 9-7 in Lincoln … Iowa State won another emotional game in the postseason against Minnesota. The Cyclones were Insight Bowl champions by the score of 14-13 … David Sims, a senior safety, was named the Big 12′s defensive newcomer of the year as a junior … The Cyclones had to deal with flooding in Ames during the preseason.