Emotions, Intensity Run High on Day 13

It was a defensive sack fest throughout much of Iowa State's team pass drills on Wednesday, but thanks to a late scoring drive engineered by quarterback Austin Flynn the offense gained some momentum coming out of the Cyclones' 13th practice of the spring.

ISU didn't scrimmage and won't again until Saturday's intra-squad finale at Jack Trice Stadium, instead going high-and-hard thud which is like a scrimmage but doesn't emphasize tackling.

Flynn again rated as the most productive signal-caller in a two-man competition with Cris Love, and completed 8-of-12 passes for 96 yards. He capped off a touchdown drive for the second-teamers by rolling right for seven yards.

Defensive back David Rahe recorded a rare interception of Flynn this spring when he made a nice leaping grab of a ball thrown over the middle.

"It's execution, playing with confidence, making some plays and leading," said Cyclone head coach Dan McCarney, assessing Flynn's play of late. "It's really important that he plays with confidence. He's starting to pick up the blitzes a little better."

Love took most of the snaps with the starters, as he will in the first half of Saturday's spring game, passing for 46 yards on 6-of-13 attempts with no picks.

"We'll rotate both of those guys," McCarney said, looking ahead to Saturday. "Cris will start with the Cardinal team in the first half and Austin will play with them in the second half. We're going to let them have one half with the ones and one with the twos, then try to make a final decision coming out of spring. But we're still not going to make a decision on our starting quarterback for the first game long into two-a-days."

Some other top offensive performers included tight end Brett Kellogg, who celebrated being named the starter for Saturday's spring game by catching three passes for 63 yards. Competitor James Wright, meanwhile, dropped what would have been a long pass from Love.

On the ground, Stevie Hicks led the way with 70 yards on eight carries and really made some big tough runs between the tackles late in practice.

"He'll start with the reserves on Saturday, but at some time of the second half we'll try to get him a couple of shifts behind that first-team offensive line," McCarney said. "He's had a great spring. He'll leave a tremendous legacy here at Iowa State. His career is just beginning. He's going to be tremendous."

Fellow tailback Michael Wagner added 52 yards on seven rushes, while first-teamer Hiawatha Rutland netted 13 yards on six attempts.

The ISU defense had a definite advantage in most other drills Wednesday, including team pass. Stevie Paris, Harold Clewis, Klayton Shoals, Gabe Bakker, Shawn Morehead and Chris Buesing all got to the quarterback for sacks, and David Rahe added a pair.

Jordan Carstens and Tim Tebrink each added quarterback sacks in the high-and-hard team scrimmage. Carstens' was most memorable, as he pretty much took Love down with one hand throwing him to the ground.

Paris and wide receiver Lane Danielsen went at it briefly in team pass after the safety made a bone-crushing hit on a caught pass over the middle. Paris celebrated the big play by taunting Danielsen, who in turn threw the ball in his face bringing on the fisticuffs.

The intensity of the raucous between Paris and Danielsen echoed that of the entire practice Wednesday, as McCarney praised the spirit of his team.

"It was as good a practice as we've had all spring," he said. "I'm really proud of them. We're all sore, who are we kidding? It's three weeks of physical contact and competitive practices. They came ready just like they have all spring. I'm anxious for a real good day Saturday to finish this thing up.

"Saturday is the last real measure, but this was the last time of going ones against ones all spring in pads. It was good to see our kids compete, but they have all spring. The work ethic and attitude coming ready to practice is as good as it's been since we've been here."

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