Spring Game Quotebook

Iowa State head coach Dan McCarney and select players spoke with the media following Saturday's spring game at Jack Trice Stadium. Here is a complete transcription of the post-game press conference.

Dan McCarney:

"We got a lot done. We got out of it healthy and it was a real clean scrimmage overall. There weren't a of flags thrown out there or many turnovers. It was a good work day under real tough conditions with the turnovers. You just couldn't script it much better than that, coming down to the last play of the game and you have to have a game-winning field goal. A lot of situations came up in the game, with two-minute drives and hurry-hurry offense."

"One of you guys burnt that hot dog and chased us out of there. We all left, but turned around and got back up there and finished the drive. So we didn't miss too many plays."

"I don't know that I know much more, other than it was nice to see guys that had not played or started get out there and get that experience, make some plays and do some things. It's mainly at quarterback, and I didn't see any quarterback-center exchange problems under ridiculous conditions. Then you saw Stevie Hicks and some of the flashes of brilliance he has, especially on the late run. The run that he makes, tackles he breaks and change in direction was nice to see."

"It's the same things that I've seen all spring long. They're competitive, tough and we've got more players that are competing for playing time. I think we can put more quality players on the field than maybe we were able to last year. Then we've got some jobs that are still wide open starting at quarterback."

"Hopefully when it's all said and done and the season's over next year, we can look back on it and say this was the best defense we've had. I think we have a chance to. But it will be the development of those guys in the next few months before the season starts. We need more quality backups that we can put out there in the rotation on game day. We need those guys to get better and keep improving."

"It was good competition and good work. I got a good taste in my mouth about this football team today, just like I did all spring long. There's a good feeling in that locker room. I'm thrilled about my captains. There was a pack of seven seniors that are fifth-year guys that have had a lot to do with the success of our team, and they just jumped way out in front of those other kids. Twenty of them received votes, but those seven were just way up in the pack. I wasn't going to cut any of those guys from being leaders of this team. What a great group of captains we'll have."

"There was nothing today, which is great news. We came out real good with no new injuries. And the guys that missed spring or part of spring from last season's injuries or surgeries should be ready to go. They feel real good about the repair on Waye Terry's thumb."

"Again today you saw the way it's been all spring. Both of them did some real good things, and were a little better when they were with the ones naturally. Cris did a nice job late with the long touchdown pass to Jon Davis. That competition, I think you can see today when I talk about how close it is, that's the way it's been all spring long. It will be a great battle (in the fall) to see number one."

"I'm sure Cris would love to be head and shoulders above them right now, but it goes more to the maturity of Austin to learn the offense. This is really the first time he's had the chance to do that and run our offense, with the exception of bowl practices. You can see he's got good feet, good arm and nice touch. It's more a positive with Austin than a negative with Cris."

"It's just to continue those things. We have made a lot of progress. I think everybody feels good about our football team. As a head coach, more than anything, that's what you want when this thing is over. We don't resume practice again until August, so you want to come out of it with a good taste in your mouth. There are not any huge voids or holes on this team from a personnel, talent or starting-lineup standpoint. We've got solid players at each position, so now it's developing depth."

"We have more guys in the secondary that can play, and we feel better about the depth there. I don't know whether Caleb Berg will be ready to play or not, but we think that's one of the better safeties we've recruited since we've been here. He has toughness, quickness and speed."

"The most improved players on defense were Cephus Johnson and Nik Moser. Those two guys have really impacted our defense, because neither one of them played a snap hardly last year on defense. Cephus didn't hardly take the field, although he was eligible and healthy. Frankly, he was a disappointment. Nik Moser was a special teams guy and safety that didn't play in the secondary. Those guys have really stepped it up this spring."

Tyson Smith:

"We accomplished a lot. We have established the depth of our team. Overall, everybody has gotten bigger, stronger and faster. We have gotten a lot better on defense. Stopping the run is one of our main things, and that's what we try to go out and do in practices and games. We're much better than we were a year ago."

Jordan Carstens:

"I think we've got a chance. There's always potential and it's what you do with it and if you want to work for it or not. That's the mindset this defense has to have. It's hard work and coming out everyday at practice and conditioning trying to improve ourselves. But we can't just say we're going to be good and it's going to happen. We have to work for it."

"We came out and played really tough up front. The front seven guys played really well and we did well in the back end, too. It was a pretty solid effort, everybody came out to play and we had a pretty good result. Anytime we have the chance to get some momentum, we want to take it. Playing together in this game and working together well as a defense is going to help us."

Cris Love:

"It was kind of wet, but it was good out there. We all got out there, competed and it's a great battle. We're having fun and the team is playing well. We're all trying to do what we could do. Flynn played well and so did Van Winkle. I had an alright day. The balls were a little wet, but you still have to make plays no matter what the conditions are."

"The way the offense goes, you try to have it balanced. Seneca ran the ball a lot and could make some plays with his feet. Whatever our own attributes are, we have to make the best of them. If there is a run to be made, then I have to try to make that run. If there's a ball to be thrown, I have to do that."

"Waye will be back in it, too, and Flynn switching in and out. They'll give everybody an equal chance still. It's going to be a fight until the first game comes around."

Austin Flynn:

"It definitely wasn't a quarterback day."

"When times get down, as it did against Oklahoma and Kansas State, (Seneca Wallace) showed me you have to get them back up and not get down at all. He showed me when you get down you have to get back up."

"It's learning from Seneca all during the fall and playing on the scout team going up against that first-team defense. That helped me to pick up the speed in the Big 12. That will help in the fall. Even learning from Cris Love will help. He's an outstanding quarterbacks and knows the offense more than anybody on the team."


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