McCarney Big 12 Teleconference

Iowa State head coach Dan McCarney spoke to the Big 12 media Monday via teleconference, with his team coming up on a weekend matchup with Kansas. Here is a complete transcription.

Opening comments:

"We lost to a very fine Colorado football team here Saturday. Really, over the last month, they've been playing really good football. Gary Barnett is as good a coach as there is around, and he's proven it for many years. He has brought those guys back from some early-season and mid-season setbacks, and they're playing outstanding football now.

"We're going down to Kansas to play, and they're a much-improved football team under Mark Mangino. They played that way all season long, and are averaging nearly 30 points a game. I believe the Oklahoma State game was 16-10 Saturday down in Stillwater. They're really improved and putting up big numbers offensively. I think they're fourth in the league in pass offense and fifth in total offense. They're very impressive on tape and are playing extremely hard and with a lot of emotion, They've got a lot to play for this week against us. We're looking forward to the matchup."

On importance of getting lead on team:

"It would be fantastic if we could put ourselves in the position to do that. It's been a long time since we've been there, which is very unusual for this program. It's been a struggle for us all season long, offensively, no doubt about it. Any type of something positive happening that hasn't happened lately would be something great for us to build on. We're going to try to do that.

"It was good to score some points in the second half Saturday, and we need to build on that and hopefully have a chance to do more this week. We're going to need it, because Kansas is really playing football."

On differences of Kansas' quarterbacks:

"We don't see much difference. They're well-coached, no doubt about it. Nick Quartaro, who was my assistant head coach here, now has their quarterbacks and is the offensive coordinator. All of those quarterbacks are producing and throwing the heck out of the ball. They're saying Bill Whittemore is going to play, which is no surprise to us. He was having a tremendous season before he went down with an injury.

"But all of them have been producing. Brian Luke was 22-for-38, and he was supposedly their third quarterback. He did a heck of a job throwing the ball Saturday. They're all quality players and whoever is in there can operate their offense with success."

On theory of recruiting JUCO players:

"We'll always have a sprinkling of junior college players. That's a philosophy we've had since we've been here – that we're always going to recruit a handful of them. But the majority of this class will still be high school players. We're playing a lot of young guys – eight freshmen are starting and four true freshmen are starting, plus we're redshirting 18 of those other kids out of that class. We need another class again this year in that category and caliber, and I think we've got a chance to do that."

On Nik Moser's status and others:

"It's a shame. He's one of our starters and has been out for a long time. I think he's very doubtful this week again. He sure wants to get back and play one of these last two games. It's still kind of day-to-day. As long as he's got soreness in there where he had the crack in the bone of his foot, they're not going to let him play."

"Luke Vander Sanden played a handful of snaps the other day and hopefully he'll be able to play more this week. Fortunately, we didn't lose anybody else out of Saturday's game with Colorado."

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