Iowa State's program has come to be defined by the fiery, passionate persona of coach Paul Rhoads. The on-field identity of the Cyclones has been forged by seniors Jake Knott and A.J. Klein, a pair of once-overlooked linebackers who've blossomed into one of the top defensive duos in the country. The Cyclones are off to their second straight 3-0 start behind a defense that's been better than most expected.
They're 13th in the nation in scoring defense at 10.7 points allowed per game and they haven't allowed a touchdown in two weeks. The performance of Iowa State's defense so far has only solidified Knott and Klein's reputation as program changers.