AMES, Iowa – On game film, before every snap, the scoreboard is shown to show the basics – down and distance and the time of game.

It also happens to show the score.

As Iowa State University senior running back Jeff Woody watched the Cyclones' film of its 2011 game with Northern Iowa, as he and ISU prepare to host the Panthers in both teams season opener Saturday at 7 p.m., there was something that stood out.

"It (the film) shows the scoreboard and there are a lot of times where it says the Panthers have a higher number than the Cyclones do and that is something you can't get around," Woody said.

ISU rallied to score twice in the final five minutes to edge UNI, 20-19, in that game, but the Cyclones haven't forgotten how tough it was to win that game or the previous matchups with Panthers.

"When you play UNI and watch the film on UNI, you know ... there is absolutely nothing easy about it," added Woody.

Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads is 4-0 in season openers as the Cyclones head coach, but this will be his most inexperienced team. He’s anxious to see how a team with 11 new starters performs.

ISU returns no starting wide receivers, will have two new starting offensive linemen and just one returning starter among its front seven on defense

Asked what are some of the major differences of his current team and the first team he coached in 2009, Rhoads didn't have to search for an answer.

"Probably more unknowns, first of all, with this team," Rhoads said. "More unknowns with this team because we have so many players with a lack of snaps under their belt.

"We didn't know that '09 team as well, but we had a pretty good idea of what we had.

"When this Saturday arrives we will get some questions answered about our football team."


OFFENSIVE LINE CHANGES: Senior strong guard Ethan Tuftee, who has the Cyclones second longest streak of starts behind center Tom Farniok's 26, will have his snapped at 15.

Sophomore Jamison Lalk was listed ahead of Tuftee in a depth chart released by Iowa State Monday. Injuries during fall camp have slowed Tuftee, who Rhoads said will play against UNI.

At quick guard, redshirt freshman Daniel Burton has jumped ahead of Oni Omoile, who was No. 1 coming out of spring.

BATTLE AT KICKER: Incumbent starter Edwin Arceo, a 2009 Muscatine High School graduate, who was 37 of 40 on PATs and 12 of 18 on field goals last season, is continuing to be pushed by redshirt freshman Cole Netten.

That doesn't figure to change anytime soon.

"It will extend to game day," Rhoads said. "Anytime you begin to think you have answers in a situation like that somebody drops off in their performance.

"I want to feel great about who it is I'm putting out there and the reason I made that decision. So, yep, she's going to keep going, that battle, for the rest of the week."

SATURDAY NIGHT HEAT: The forecasted high for Saturday is going to be near a 100 degrees after a uncharacteristic cool August, but Rhoads doesn't see that being an issue.

"We got a little burst of it last week so it's not like this week it is completely new to us," he said. "The positive of a month like this is our first two opponents, which extends over a three week time period, have been practicing in the same exact weather."

Sports Editor