Iowa State to honor slain golfer before game vs. Akron
AMES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa State community will close out a horrible week by coming together to watch the Cyclones at Jack Trice Stadium on Saturday.
The matchup with Akron will be more about helping the school, alumni and fans remember one of their own. Former Big 12 champion golfer Celia Barquin Arozamena was found stabbed to death earlier this week while playing at a local course.
The Cyclones (0-2, 0-1 Big 12) and Zips (2-0) will wear helmet stickers with Barquin’s initials. The Iowa State band will also form the shape of “CBA” to honor Barquin before the game following a video tribute to Barquin on the scoreboard.
“I do know this: I know this is a really powerful place, I know this is a place that will respond as one and we’ll get through this tragedy together,” Iowa State coach Matt Campbell said. “I think what’s really special about being at Iowa State is the unity that all of our student-athletes carry.”
Iowa State could really use a win. Its first game got canceled because of bad weather, which meant Iowa State had to open with a road game at rival Iowa and a home game with No. 5 Oklahoma — both 10-point losses. Akron, which also had its opener at Nebraska canceled the same day as Iowa State (Sept. 1), is 2-0 after stunning Northwestern 39-34 last week.
“We know we’re going to get a football team that’s got a lot of confidence in who they are and what they do,” Campbell said.
SCOUTING THE ZIPS
Akron, picked to finish fourth in the Mid-American Conference’s East division, rallied from a 21-3 deficit last week to beat the Wildcats. The Zips did so by scoring three defensive touchdowns in the second half. Quarterback Kato Nelson has thrown for 509 yards and five touchdowns, and back Van Alexander is averaging 5.2 yards a carry.
“We’ve got a good veteran group of guys, and they believed they could win,” Akron coach Terry Bowden said.
Iowa State quarterback Zeb Noland had the best game of his career in last week’s 37-27 loss to Oklahoma, throwing for 360 yards on 25 of 36 passing. He will start again on Saturday as Kyle Kempt continues to nurse a sore knee.
“We’ve just got to play fast, just focus on us. Not worry about what they’re doing,” Noland said.
If Noland has another big game, it might be time to wonder if he will keep the job, even when Kempt is ready to return.
Iowa State’s first six opponents have a combined record of 15-1. … The last time Akron was 2-0 came in 1993 under coach Gerry Faust, and last week’s win over Northwestern was its first over a current Big Ten team since it beat Ohio State in 1894. … The Cyclones pounded the Zips in Akron 41-14 last season.
HE SAID IT
“My hope is, if that’s what motivates us then we’ve got the wrong team this year.” — Iowa State coach Matt Campbell when asked about Akron’s win over Northwestern.