McCarney Big 12 Teleconference

Iowa State head coach Dan McCarney spoke to the Big 12 media Monday via teleconference, with his team coming off of a bye week. The Cyclones will now prepare for a Saturday afternoon matchup with Kansas State.

Opening comments:

"It's great to be back in game week again. We took advantage of the bye week, got some guys rested and hopefully we have the chance to be the healthiest we've been in a long time going into the game. We'll sure need that playing against an outstanding Kansas State team.

"Bill Snyder has done a phenomenal coaching job at Kansas State. They seem to be hitting on all cylinders in recent games in recent weeks. I think they have outscored their last three opponents 129-36, so they are really an explosive, well-coached, experienced, fundamental football team. It's going to be a major challenge for us, but we're looking forward to playing and being back in Jack Trice Stadium for a home game."

On Lane Danielsen's career:

"He means so much to the program. Anyone that's a fan of Iowa State football understands what he has meant to our program on the field as a receiver, special teams guy and a team player. But it goes way beyond that. He came in as a walk on and earned a scholarship the right way, the hard way. He'll go down in the history books as probably the finest receiver that ever played here at Iowa State.

"His character, leadership, spirit, enthusiasm and spirit off the field is even more impressive than his example on the field. He's left a great legacy here at Iowa State and we'll talk about Lane Danielsen for many years to come around this place."

"He has a tremendous work ethic, great attitude, never wants to come off the field and is never satisfied with a performance. He has a great approach to everything. He's an Academic All-Big 12 guy and is coachable. He has that unbelievable desire and will to win. He refuses to give into adversity. He's one of those guys right now that I so badly want some positive things for at the end of his career here at Iowa State."

On positives of bye week:

"It was much needed. I gave them a little more time off than I did during our earlier bye week. We had an earlier open week before we went to play Northern Illinois in DeKalb. From a mental standpoint, moral standpoint and spirit, their attitude was great. We had three of the most enthusiastic practices we've had all year last week. I fully expect we'll come into game week the same way starting today."

On injury situation coming out of it:

"We've had a number of guys out. We rested Bobby Montgomery and Jordan Carstens last week. They had played in the last two games, but were not at 100 percent. I think they've got a chance to be close to 100 percent. We'll know more today on Luke Vander Sanden, our starting center, who's been out for a few weeks. Nik Moser has been out for a while, as has Harold Clewis. All of those guys have a chance to be ready this week."

On Kansas State defense under Bobby Elliott:

"It seems like Bobby stepped in there and carried on a phenomenal tradition that was built there under Bill Snyder and the other coordinators that have been in place down there. They play with such high intensity and are so physical and relentless. Now they're right up there again, nationally ranked as it seems Kansas State's defenses are every single season.

"The defense is playing with Bobby's personality, the tenacity, intensity and attitude he brings as a coach and coordinator. He could be a head coach or athletic director at about any Division I school in the country and be successful. I feel that strongly about him."

On Big 12 North outlook:

"It's a great race right now when you look at it and see teams that are tied for the lead. It's going to be a great finish. We have four games left and most teams have three. There is no way to tell right now. We haven't had a lot of success in the first four weeks of the conference, and hopefully we can be a factor in these last four games.

"We're trying to get through the open week and get refocused on Kansas State. I think our kids have done a good job of that so far. We're coaching with a mission and a passion, and hopefully the kids will play that way and give our fans something to be proud of here in the last few weeks."

On players' outlook for last four games:

"We tried to turn the page on the first part of the season. It was very disappointing for us. We're looking forward to our second season, the last four games, and getting some guys back. It was a good sign that there isn't anybody around here that's looking towards the end of the season or hoping it's over. The kids are very excited about the finish of this year and wanting to be coached. We're not satisfied a bit with the season. It was a good sign that they practiced that way."

"We've learned a lot of hard lessons from those games, but through the toughest of times or toughest of losses, there isn't anybody around here that will ever doubt we can get this thing done and still have a good program. It's all about how we finish now in these last four games."

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