Dan McCarney Big 12 Teleconference

Iowa State head coach Dan McCarney spoke to the Big 12 media Monday via teleconference, opening his weekly series by hitting on some various position battles. Included was some news at quarterback, where one signal-caller appears to have the edge over another.

On quarterback race:

"We've had two scrimmages throughout all of our practices so far and we'll have another one Wednesday. That will be our last scrimmage before we open the season. Coming out of our first two scrimmages, Austin Flynn is our number one quarterback ahead of Waye Terry and Cris Love. We're not naming him as the starter yet for the first game, because we still have evaluations and another real important scrimmage Wednesday.

"Coming out of the first practices and scrimmages, he has a little bit of an edge. He's been a little more consistent and made a few more plays. We'll continue to evaluate throughout this week, but he's got the edge right now heading into our next scrimmage."

On what Flynn brings to the table:

"He has definitely improved since spring. He's really a good athlete and we knew that when we recruited him in high school. We just loved him on tape. He's athletic, has real good feet and a strong arm. He's a coach's son. Both his mom and dad are high school coaches, so that never hurts when you're looking at a position like quarterback. He's got a lot of talent, but zero experience.

"We felt like last year he and Waye Terry were two of the best scout team quarterbacks we've brought into the program. They put their time in down there and now are both vying for the number one spot."

On chances of Terry passing Flynn in short time:

"It's practice every day, too. We're getting into a lot of competitive padded practices, where we get into all kinds of situations. It's a continuous evaluation. But Austin has the edge going into it. He was definitely better Saturday overall. Waye was not bad, but Austin was a little bit better. If he can hang onto it and continue to make good plays and not make the same mistakes over, he'll be our starter. It will be interesting to see."

"If we can make a decision this week, we will later in the week after the scrimmage and a few more practices. We're not playing games with our quarterbacks, the media or the public, we just want to make a decision, go with it and never look back."

On some freshmen that could play:

"Out of the newcomers, no question Jason Berryman is going to play as a true freshman. He's had a real outstanding camp. Brent Curvey will also have a chance to play as a freshman. DeAndre Jackson also has a chance. So a couple of kids from the state of Texas look like they have a chance to work into our depth chart on defense."

On how defense is performing:

"I don't know that they're ahead of the offense right now a whole lot. We've got a good veteran offense coming back, too, with the exception of running back, quarterback, fullback and one of those offensive line spots up front. All of those other guys in the offensive line and wide receivers are all veterans. We've got some pretty good experience coming back.

"When we go best against best as we do most of the time in camp, whether it's practice or scrimmage, somebody wins and somebody loses every play, every series and every segment.

"I like the way our defense has worked. There is a good blend of experience along with some new faces that are coming in here that have a chance to help our defense."

On outlook at running back:

"Stevie Hicks was having a great camp and then he got a minor injury and missed a few practices. He was back out today, so it's not anything serious thankfully. He was clearly our best running back. If he continues that and gets back on the practice field consistently now and gets his reps and plays, there's a good chance he'll be our starter for the first game.

"I won't get into his injury, but it's not serious at all. He practiced today and will be right in the hunt for that number one spot. If somebody is out for a game or the season, we'll let someone know. But if it is minor stuff, we don't get into daily reports.

"Mike Wagner has had a tremendous attitude. He's a very valuable senior that's played better in camp than he has at any time since he's been here. So it's been very competitive so far. From a performance standpoint, Stevie Hicks has the edge right now."

On position battles at tight end, defensive end, cornerback and kicker:

"We've got a good battle going on (at tight end). If we played tomorrow, Brett Kellogg, James Wright and Kenny Segin would all play. We're in a rotation with three tight ends and Kellogg has a little bit of an edge right now. The first play of the first game, Brett Kellogg would be out there. But we'll play all three of those kids.

"We still have a good battle going on at defensive end with Cephus Johnson having a bit of an edge over Beau Klaffke.

"At cornerback, Harold Clewis and Anthony Forrest have a good battle going in. Right now Clewis has a little bit of an edge, but it's a slight one. Both of them are having good camps and playing well.

"Placekicker is a tremendous battle. Tony Yelk has been more consistent last spring and through two-a-days than he has at any time since he's been here as a field-goal kicker. He's clearly our starting punter over Troy Blankenship. We've got a continuous battle at kickers. We feel very good about both of them. Adam Benike was All-Big 12 last year and Tony's trying to take his job right now."

On Cris Love and Hiawatha Rutland's handling of current situation:

"Both of them are doing real well. That's a tough hand to be dealt. First of all, they let us down and made a mistake right before the season started. They're paying for that and have been penalized. The one game they'll sit out can hurt our football team, because they were both running number one at the time. But I'm real proud of their attitude, work ethic and focus. They come in with business-like attitude in meetings and practices and have done a good job of handling it."


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