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Frere sets big goal for ISU defense

8/5/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Don't accuse Iowa State nose guard Nate Frere of setting his aspirations low.

Frere told the Des Moines Register at the Cyclones' annual media day that his goal is to limit opponents to 20 points or less.

Considering that the Cyclones allowed conference opponents 41.8 points per game last season, that sounds like an difficult goal to achieve.

"I know 20 points sounds like a lot," Frere told the Register. "You always want to give up zero, but in the Big 12, there's a lot of high-powered teams with a lot of weapons.

"Everybody's going to score points in the Big 12. That's the way it is. We just can't let them score as many against us as they did last year."

Allowing 20 points has traditionally been a benchmark across the conference. Here's Iowa State's record in games where the Cyclones allowed 20 points or less in the history of the Big 12.

1996: 0-0
1997: 1-0
1998: 3-1
1999: 3-1
2000: 5-0
2001: 6-1
2002: 5-0
2003: 2-0
2004: 3-3
2005: 5-0
2006: 2-0
2007: 2-1
2008: 1-1
TOTALS: 35-8

Under Dan McCarney, the Cyclones posted a 35-6 in games where opponents were limited to 20 points or less for a winning percentage of .854. ISU wasn't nearly as successful in the last two seasons under Gene Chizik, when the Cyclones posted a 3-2 record in games where opponents were limited to 20 points or less for a .600 winning percentage.

But with scoring as prevalent as it was in the Big 12 last season, 20 points was a special benchmark. Big 12 teams were 44-3 in games where opponents were limited to 20 points or less in 2008. The only games where Big 12 teams lost allowing 20 points or less included were Texas A&M's 18-14 loss to Arkansas State, Kansas State's 14-13 loss to Colorado and Iowa State's 17-5 loss to Iowa.

Here's a record for Big 12 teams in 2008 where they allowed opponents to 20 points or less.