AMES - Austen will get the nod. Iowa State head football coach Gene Chizik announced after Friday's practice that sophomore Austen Arnaud will start at quarterback in Thursday's 7 p.m. season opener in Jack Trice Stadium against South Dakota State.
The Cyclones' second-year coach emphasized that sophomore Phillip Bates will also play quarterback against the Jackrabbits.
"We have a plan in place for both of them to play (Thursday)," Chizik said. "It is a positive that we have two guys that can lead our team. They have both shown that in practice and I think everybody's excited about it."
Chizik said Arnaud, who completed 20-of-37 passes for 267 yards in six games, will start because of his experience. Bates has no game day experience at signal caller after playing as a wide receiver last season.
"Unfortunately, only one guy can take the first snap," Chizik said. "Austen has some experience. We don't see it as a starter and a back-up; we see it as two starting quarterbacks. Both will continue to work with the No. 1 and No. 2 offenses in practice.
Chizik implied that both Arnaud and Bates have demonstrated the leadership necessary to shoulder quarterback responsibilities.
"We are really excited about the fact that we have two starting quarterbacks," Chizik said. "If this were an NFL draft, we would take them both in the first round. It's been a great camp for both Austen and Phillip."