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Iowa State football off to another awful start

Published on NewsOK Modified: September 1, 2014 at 2:14 pm •  Published: September 1, 2014

AMES, Iowa (AP) — One of the defining qualities of Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads is his ability to generate optimism in lieu of success.

It's going to be tough to keep selling hope after another awful start.

The Cyclones (0-1) didn't just drop their first game for the second year in a row. They fell at home, 34-14, to North Dakota State — an FCS program with 22 fewer scholarships, a new coach and a new quarterback.

Considering what lies ahead for the Cyclones in the coming weeks; No. 20 Kansas State (1-0) on Saturday, at Iowa, No. 10 Baylor and at Oklahoma State, Rhoads' stated goal of a bowl win this season already seems a bit unrealistic.

We need to focus on "urgency and getting your job done," Rhoads said. "Whether it's a tackle, a route, whether it's a block. Everyone needs a little more urgency in coaching and playing."

Iowa State's offense sputtered badly in its first game under new coordinator Mark Mangino.

It won't be easy to fix things with star wide receiver Quenton Bundrage out for the year.

Bundrage, who led the Cyclones with 48 catches and nine TDs in 2013 and was arguably the most talented player on their roster, injured his right knee during the first series Saturday.

Rhoads said Monday that Bundrage tore his anterior cruciate ligament and won't be back in 2014.

Perhaps the only consolation for Iowa State is that wide receiver remains the program's deepest position. Promising freshman Allen Lazard and transfer D'Vario Montgomery will get more snaps as the Cyclones seek to replace Bundrage's production.

"He's a big playmaker," Rhoads said. "Bundrage was a very big part of our offense ... he was looking forward to not only a big-play season but a consistent season for himself. To have that taken away on the fourth play of a football game is really disheartening for the young man. I feel for him."

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