Talk about some of the challenges Iowa State will present to you, both offensively and defensively?
I think number one it’s just about the road environment. They’re a Big 12 football team; they have a tremendous setting in playing out games. They’ve got great support from fans, certainly passionate about the Big 12 game of football. I think it’s their homecoming, so I think it’s going to be a neat experience for our team to go out and be in that great environment.
Then you talk about this team and you talk about Big 12 football and I think they represent it in every way, shape, and form. Offensively, they’re explosive. They’ve got playmakers all around — running back, wide receiver, and all their skill positions. I think their quarterback is playing right now with great comfort, and has really played well for them. And then you flip it around defensively and you see a really well coached defense out there, a defense that’s had to play some of the best in the country offensively and has really played well. You can see their growth as the season’s gone on.
It’s going to be a great environment and certainly a great challenge for our football team and we look forward to that opportunity.
From the stats, you’re the second highest scoring team in your conference, but it seems like you’re not at your peak yet. Do you think that’s accurate?
I would say that. I think we’re so young still on offense, in so many different ways. We still have a young quarterback that continues to learn the system and continues to play and grow each and every week. Right now we’re playing a bunch of different running backs. We have a young, true freshman that last week rushed for 177 yards. Even at receiver, other than Alonzo Russell, the rest of that receiving core is young.
A lot of young guys who are making their first appearance this season are part of who we are and what we want to be offensively. It’s nice to have a steady offense that’s steady at the line and for everyone around them. They’ve been the mainstay, but I think we’ll continue to get better and that will continue day in and day out. It’s nice to have a good steady force with that offensive line, and that steadied everyone around them.
Talk about where you see your squad right now getting in a non-conference game after being 3-0 in conference play?
I don’t know if you can even look at any of that. I think the biggest thing we have to worry about is getting better. I think no matter who you are or where you are whether is a non-conference game or a championship, there’s only 12 guaranteed opportunities.
You have to take advantage of every opportunity you get. And you have to do everything in your power to get better each and every week, because those opportunities are so critical Monday through Friday, with the importance of getting better, the importance of practice and demanding to get better day in and day out. I think if we continue to take care of that and continuing to grow we can continue to be successful as the season goes on.