Arnaud Looking To Step It Up In 2009

Austen Arnaud is entering his second season as starting quarterback and more importantly his third offensive system in four years at Iowa State.

For most players, that would be hard to handle. Arnaud is just trying to take it in stride and received an honor of being named a captain this year from him teammates for his leadership last season.

"This is my team and in a sense it has to be for us to be successful," Arnaud said. "My play is going to dictate how we play as a team."

Coach Paul Rhoads said having that experience at the quarterback position puts his team ahead of the game.

"Whether it's the same scheme or not, a guy that is tested is critically important," Rhoads said. "He got a good grasp of the offense in the spring but now we have to expand upon that."

Arnaud is coming off a season where he split time with now departed Phillip Bates early but took over the job midway through the non-conference season. Arnaud finished the season with 61.5 completion percentage, throwing for 2792 yards and 15 touchdowns, while throwing 10 interceptions.

The offense Arnaud will be playing in under new offensive coordinator Tom Herman is a spread offense somewhat similar to the one he played in last season. Herman's offense differs in its tempo, as it involves much more no-huddle components and averaged over 40 points a game last season.

"Chase Clement threw for over 4000 yards and ran for over 700 yards in this offense," Arnaud said. "That is almost 5000 yards from one guy and that definitely opened my eyes and the eyes of the other people on this offense."

Rhoads said Arnaud is definitely the starter, squelching any discussions about yet another quarterback controversy.

One thing that Arnaud will be doing in this spread offense is sitting in the shotgun and survey all of his targets and that one thing that Arnaud also said about this offense suits his abilities.

"I love being in the shotgun; you can see the whole field," Arnaud said. "We have a lot guys that can make plays and we talk about how our main goal is to outscore our opponents.

If by some chance Arnaud would have to go off the field for a few plays, the coaching staff's confidence in backup Jerome Tiller is clearly growing.

Rhoads said Tiller is one of the most improved players since spring practice and there could even be a small package for him later in the season.

"He proved this spring that he is capable of leading our club and being productive," Rhoads said. "If Austen goes down, we will move own and (Tiller) will take over."

Tiller had a long touchdown run in the spring game and a solid day throwing the ball, and despite redshirting last season, he got to sit and learn from Arnaud throughout the season.

"I have a little bit of an ability to run but he also has a better grasp on the game," Tiller said. "If I get on the field I will do what I can to the best of my abilities and I don't think the offense will miss a beat."

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