As season openers go, it seems like we tend to focus on unanswered questions. In other words, how will the new guys do?Who’ll replace Osemele at tackle and Hicks at guard? Will the new corner hit like Leonard Johnson? Is the kicker dependable? Although those questions were answered to some degree Saturday, the real news in the win over Tulsa was made by two players with previous work experience. Steele and Shontrelle. As in Jantz, the quarterback, and Johnson, the tailback. Jantz showed flashes as a first-year starter in 2011 but injuries hampered him. Jantz sliced up Tulsa’s defense with timely long passes mixed with heavy doses of short completions. He was, in Coach Paul Rhoads’ words, very poised. Johnson suffered a serious neck injury last fall that put his career in jeopardy. At the time, he was the starter. Now, he’s back. Wow, he’s back. There probably isn’t a guy on the roster, who hits the hole quicker and as powerfully. He was recognized by Rhoads in the post-game and his teammates responded with admiration for a young guy whose career was in question 11 months ago. Sometimes, it’s the veterans who make the headlines in the opener even when our eyes are focused on the new guys. That was the case in Ames Saturday.
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