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"They say these things run in cycles," he said. "If that's true, no one here feels our cycle is over."
20 IOWA STATE
Williams Field in Ames. Iowa relegates one-third of its Saturday patrons to end-zone seats. This is unconventional architecture but until last season it was ideally suited, since the opposition spent its afternoons hanging around the goalposts, too. The ancient facility seats only 35,000, but the team residing there, Iowa State, has seldom deserved better.
Last season, however, there unexpectedly occurred an 8-3-0 regular season, which represented the most wins in 65 years and produced the team's first bowl invitation (the Sun) and top 20 recognition. There was even a sellout, only the second since Williams Field was enlarged in 1964.
The run of success should continue in 1972 because there are 14 returning starters and just enough non-conference lightweights on the schedule. Iowa State will not be a Nebraska, an Oklahoma or a Colorado but the Camp Dodges, Oklahoma Centrals and Ottum-was that plagued its past are no longer a threat. The average score of the team's eight victories last year was a thumping 37-14 and, as all those corn farmers can tell you, that's no bad yield.
" Iowa State was 50 years behind times when I came here [in 1968]," says Coach John Majors. "There were poor facilities, no alumni support, a defeatist attitude and very little tradition. We've still got a way to go but we've caught up by about 10 years."
Graduation losses were heaviest on offense, especially in the interior line, where three sophomores start. Quarterback falls to George Amundson, who set a school rushing record as a tailback last season by gaining more than 1,300 yards. Amundson actually began his collegiate career as a quarterback but his speed and durability oriented him toward the run. He does his best flinging with the discus—his throw of 177 feet is a school track mark—but he will also take advantage of a fine trio of receivers headed by Tight End Keith Krepfle. This seems to suggest a series of quarterback options, but Tailback Jerry Moses must also be considered. He was a sensation as a prepster but missed his first collegiate season with a broken foot. Fully mended, Moses commands respect.
The veteran defense has eight returning starters headed by Tackle Lawrence (Big Daddy) Hunt and Linebacker Matt Blair. Big Daddy is fearsome but inconsistent, Blair only fearsome.
Iowa State's sudden rise from the frequent last-place Big Eight finish was widely noticed last year. Majors heard from five college and professional teams who had similar rebuilding jobs to offer. He chose to remain in Ames, influenced perhaps by the prospect of a new stadium, for which supporters have already pledged $6.2 million. "Our image," says Majors, "is changing."