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ISU eyes more success against Iowa

Friday, September 7, 2012

AMES - It's Iowa-Iowa State week and it won't take much for the Hawkeyes or Cyclones to get up for 60th meeting between the rivals Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in Kinnick Stadium.

Iowa State is coached by Paul Rhoads
But if there are any Cyclone fans brave enough to do it, there is one thing that will get ISU' s A.J. Klein's blood boiling.

Nothing irks the reigning Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year more than to see an Iowa State student wearing Iowa Hawkeye garb around campus.

"It is irritating," Klein said Monday during Iowa State's weekly press conference. "You should take pride in your school and where you go to school.

"I don't care where you go to if you from out of state or for like me I'm from Wisconsin and grew up a Wisconsin fan, but that doesn't mean anything. I don't like Wisconsin because I'm an Iowa State Cyclone and I'm always going to support my team, my school and my University.

"I think it is a punch to the jaw that you don't support your own team. I see tons of it (Iowa garb around campus."

Occasionally, the 6-foot-2, 248-pound senior, gives those wearing the wrong colors a biting remark.

Asked if anybody barked back at him, Klein just smiled.

"Usually it is a quick remark and I keep walking," Klein said. "We have hard-headed fans and they have hard-head fans. They love their team and I understand that.

"It is a big rivalry game and I understand people support who they support but I'd like to see more of our students wear our gear."

Fellow linebacker Jake Knott glanced over at the imposing Klein and chipped in advice for those who face the ire of Klein on campus.

"I hope they listen," joked Knott. "I think the culture has changed a little bit since we've been here. There is a lot less of that now except for guys who are looking for attention, looking to get talked to like that. There are a lot smarter people on campus I guess you could say."

All joking aside, the Cyclones have turned the page on their impressive 38-23 win over Tulsa and began focusing on their trip to Kinnick Stadium where ISU has not won in this series since 2002.

Cyclone head coach Paul Rhoads says he expects another great game between the two rivals and didn't read much into Iowa's close call against Northern Illinois at Soldier Field last Saturday where the Hawkeyes had to score a late touchdown to pull out an 18-17 win.

"I take away from that they won and anytime you can win a football game you walk away pleased with the result," Rhoads said. "With a victory comes confidence. It doesn't matter if you won by 15 or one there is a lot to teach off and a lot to learn coming off your opening game.

"I'm sure they went back with an energized football team on Saturday and went right back to work."

Rhoads also had an energized team and was impressed with how his team went back to work on Sunday following the Cyclones' win over Tulsa.

"I think it is critically important that you win your first game," Rhoads said. "Why ... you've spent eight months coaching and showing your team things you need to do to be successful and with that success you gain creditablity as a staff and with creditability you gain confidence.

"With confidence comes an attitutude and peformance level on the practice field which we had yesterday. It was fun to see that energy out of our football team and we will need that kind of energy as we prepare to go on the road and play a very good Iowa football team."

Iowa State captured last year's contest at Jack Trice in Ames, 44-41 in triple overtime, the Cyclones seventh win in 13 tries against a Kirk Ferentz coached Hawkeye program.

Iowa is coached by Kirk Ferentz
But the last time ISU ventured into Kinnick it wasn't a pretty performance. The Hawkeyes lead 28-0 at halftime and 35-0 after three quarters en route to a 35-7 victory.

"It is a memory in the back of my mind," Klein said. "I was a sophomore. It chapped me a little bit we got beat so bad so I'm looking forward to getting back in that stadium and getting to play.

"Kinnick is a great place to play football and I hope to go out victorious there."

Game Data

Iowa State (1-0) at Iowa (1-0)

When: Saturday, 2:30 p.m.

Where: Kinnick Stadium (Iowa City)

TV: Big Ten Network (Kevin Kugler, Chuck Long and Chris Martin)

Radio: 1360 KSCJ; Y 101.3 FM

Series: Iowa leads all-time series, 39-20.

Last year: ISU won in triple overtime, 44-41.

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