ISU Defense Defeats The Offense 34-16

Keyed by a solid effort from a steadily improving defense and a breakout performance by backup quarterback Jerome Tiller, the Gold team defeated the Cardinal team 34-16 before 7,000 fans Saturday at the ISU Gridiron Club Spring Game.

Tiller quarterbacked the Gold team, which featured the first team defense, and returning starter at quarterback Austen Arnaud led the first team offense and the Cardinal squad. First year coach Paul Rhoads, who was making his debut in the spring game at Iowa State, said the score and stats are not worth much but he was really pleased with the effort his players showed.

"I didn't see any loafing out there," Rhoads said. "I saw a team that got fatigued a little bit as we went through four quarters of time regulated football for the first time this spring but I never saw a lack of effort."

Arnaud said he agreed with Rhoads's assessment of the game. "We played hard and we showed great effort," Arnaud said.

The game did feature highlights in all three aspects of the game. Linebacker Jesse Smith intercepted a pass and took it in for a touchdown on the defensive side. Both offenses had well over 300 yards of offense on the day as well, though. Grant Mahoney hit three field goals and the Cardinal special teams blocked a Zach Guyer field goal try.

The Smith touchdown got the scoring going after a first quarter that featured some turnovers and a little bit of a slow start from both offenses before they got going. The Cyclones got through the game relatively unscathed when it came to the injury bug but one of their standout performers from last season did suffer a minor setback. Cornerback Leonard Johnson did leave the game and not return due to a leg injury as a precaution. Rhoads said the injury is not serious, however, and the injury "spooked" Johnson more than anything. After 15 spring practices, the Cyclones will have to wait until August to hit the practice field together as a unit as they looked towards their season opener with the Bison of North Dakota State.

"These kids love this university, they love wearing the cardinal and gold and the love coming to work every day," Rhoads said. "We will keep moving forward." "You go from crawling to walking to running," Rhoads said. "We aren't running yet but we are on two feet."

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