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Rhoads' debut helping to pack them in

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

It sounds like the long-suffering Iowa State fans have found a reason to believe with the arrival of Iowa native Paul Rhoads as the Cyclones' new head coach.

Thursday's opening game against North Dakota State has attracted a crowd of 48,831 to Jack Trice Stadium.

It's the largest opening-game crowd for the Cyclones since 1987.

Making the crowd even more impressive was that 1987 game featured arch-rival Iowa.

For Rhoads to help draw a near-sellout crowd for his first game is notable.

The Cyclones have a 24-10 lead and appear to have taken control by scoring on their first second-half possession.