Dan McCarney Big 12 Teleconference

Iowa State head coach Dan McCarney spoke to the Big 12 media Monday via teleconference, looking ahead to the Ohio game. Mac gave an update on the injured Tyson Smith and evaluated the play of Austin Flynn and the offensive line against Northern Iowa.

Opening comments:

"We're pleased that we're 1-0 and to get the win over Northern Iowa. It's a tremendous football team and that's why through the years they've beaten eight Division I teams. We had a great atmosphere for football with the largest opening day crowd in 16 or 17 years. We know that we've got to make a lot of improvement for this week getting ready for Ohio."

"We've had three very tough games with Ohio U. in my tenure at Iowa State. We had a three-point win, a 10-point win and 15-point win. They've all gone into the fourth quarter. They're very disciplined and have a very good system and are well coached. We know we're going to have our hands full."

On injured rush end Tyson Smith:

"Tyson had surgery and did fracture his right fibula and tore some ligaments in there. He's done for the year, which is a major blow for our defense. He's one of the best players we've had in the program at Iowa State. We're going to really miss him. Surgery went well and he's back home now. He'll definitely be out the rest of this year. He has a redshirt year and our plans are to have him back for his senior year in 2004."

"Jason Berryman, a true freshman that played a lot the other night, will definitely step into Tyson Smith's starting position at rush end."

On depth behind Berryman:

"Jason will be our starter and we've been working Korey Smith and Beau Klaffke both at rush end and defensive end. They'll be the two backups and both are redshirt freshmen. We're going to have three of the four spots for rush and defensive end be true freshmen or redshirt freshmen. We've got to bring those kids along. We're not going to get any sympathy cards from anyone because we lost two of our best players in Tyson Smith and Bob Montgomery."

On getting Hiawatha Rutland back in mix:

"Mike Wagner is running with the number ones right now as we speak. Hiawatha Rutland and Stevie Hicks will be taking snaps with twos. (Hiawatha) is definitely in the mix at running back. The suspension is over and it's up to him to earn playing time. Whether he's number one or number two, it's yet to be determined. He will be a factor in our offense this week and definitely plan on seeing him play Saturday."

On Wagner surpassing Hicks on depth chart:

"He was our offensive MVP and played like a veteran that had been in the program a long time. He brought a little more juice to the offense and our running game when he got opportunities. Stevie didn't have a lot of chances, because we had some mental breakdowns and were poor technique-wise on some things. Then he ran a little tentative, but he's a redshirt freshman that will get better and better. I still feel very good about our running back position and Hiawatha will be right back into the thick of the competition this week."

On offensive line's performance Saturday:

"It was OK overall, nothing special or anything you'd put on a clinic tape and say this is the way it's supposed to be done. We were OK at best, but I don't want to take anything away from UNI's defense. They gave us a lot of different looks, were very aggressive and brought a lot of blitzes. We left a lot to be desired and need to improve immensely this week."

"I was very pleased with Aaron Brant overall. He's 18 years old and it was his first college start. He did a lot of good things and very much secured that number one spot as our starting right guard."

On Austin Flynn's play in first start:

"I thought he did a real solid job. That's not only a redshirt freshman starting his first game, but at that position. He was 9-for-18 with 160 yards, had a rushing touchdown, threw for another one and had another sure touchdown dropped by one of our veteran receivers. All in all, I thought he did a lot of good things. He will be a much better quarterback just from that start and experience."

"As you can imagine, with success comes confidence. I'm sure he'll be even a better leader and stronger leader and have a little more bounce to his step at practice this week getting that first victory."

On Ohio quarterbacks:

"They're both real athletic kids, no doubt about it. Both of them can run and were recruited into that system to do what they do best. Both of them are capable passers, but have real good athleticism, speed and run the option all day long. They know what they're doing and have been running the system for a long time. They sure have caused problems against us with the system they run and the players they have running it."

"We're very impressed with what we've seen of them so far. They know what they're doing and get bigger line splits than anybody we'll see all year long. The preparation is very different from any team we'll play all season long. We've got a major challenge for our defense this week."


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