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Iowa State Football Coach Paul Rhoads says his team’s youth is apparent through their first week of practice. He says that’s especially true on defense, but he confident his staff will bring them around.


Rhoads says the team’s inexperience is not a reason to lower expectations.


“So you know what, this is an off year, let’s wait a year and Jeremiah and Jock and Jeff and you know you guys I’m sorry, we’re not going push for that mark. They know that, they know that the most important thing right now about our football team advancing past the inexperience is they realize it,” said Rhoads.


Rhoads says his squad will have to overcome its lack of experience with attention to detail.


“They’ve been used to watching a style of defense that we’ve played and how we’ve practiced, but they’ve been doing a lot of that, watching it without being forced to play on game day,” said Rhoads. “Attention to detail, mentally and physically, bringing them along on a daily basis to get past that lack of time on the field.


Rhoads admits he’s concerned that all his backup linebackers are freshmen.


“I think Luke Knott in the last three days has really improved. I’m not saying the light is fully burning bright, but he’s really improved,” said Rhoads. “I think Kane Sealy has come on as the middle linebacker. I think it helps Kane that he’s settled in at the middle linebacker and not playing the middle linebacker and the strong side linebacker both.


Rhoads says he has a plan to guide his young team through an unusually early season schedule that includes two byes and two Thursday night games.


“I think the more aware they are, the more they’re prepared to respond in a favorable impression,” said Rhoads. “I think trust is a big part of our program. I’ve said it publicly a number of times and our kids have trust that we’re doing everything we can to insure their preparedness and opportunity to be successful.”


The kickoff of the 2013 season is less than 20 days away. The Cyclones host Northern Iowa August 31st.


Iowa Radio Network