Spring Practice Twelve Q&A

CycloneNation.com caught up with Dan McCarney following his team's latest spring scrimmage on Saturday morning. Here is a question-and-answer session with Iowa State's head coach.

CN: Let's start with some comments from today's practice.

McCarney: I'm real pleased overall. We got 102 plays in and no serious injuries, which is the best news when you get a good, long work day like that. I think we improved as a football team. We still have a lot of work to do, individually and collectively, with this team. I really like the way they came to practice this morning.

CN: Did you get a sense of which side of the ball had an edge today?

McCarney: I don't know that anybody had an upper hand. I got into a lot of different places on the field and game situations, whether it was backed up or out on the field, short yardage or long yardage, red zone or goal-line. We got into some fourth-down situations and two-point plays, just things that can come up in a game. I thought it went real well.

CN: What were some of the highlights on offense?

McCarney: Bret Meyer did a lot of good things again. I'm anxious to grade the tape and get through all of that. All three quarterbacks did some good things at times, but I'd be surprised if Bret is anything but a number one when we go back to practice and scrimmage on Monday. That's just my gut feeling. He did a lot of good things today. Todd Blythe made some real good plays today, and it was good to have him back. He missed the one practice and came back.

Most of the scores we had were close in. There weren't any long plays or bombs. The defense cut down on those things from Wednesday's scrimmage. Bret scored on a run from in close and Stevie Hicks scored one. The backs were solid, nothing special. We held Jason (Scales) out today, and he'll be ready to go on Monday. We didn't want to take a chance on losing him for next week.

CN: What about the defense?

McCarney: Our defense scrimmaged better than they did on Wednesday, which was good to see. The guys that we know are good players, Jason Berryman, Brent Curvey, and Nick Leaders, showed up and made some plays today.

CN: How about on special teams?

McCarney: Tony Yelk did a good job today. He hit a 51- and 55-yarder. There was a little breeze out of the north and he kicked with the wind, but you've still got to stroke it. He put both of them through out there. He has really had a good spring, punting and kicking. Those were two of the highlights of scrimmage today. He's punting and kicking with a lot of confidence right now. He continues to be the guy that we'd use on gameday doing all of those things.

CN: So you decided to move it outside to the stadium?

McCarney: Barring rain or snow, we were going outside today. It worked out fine. It was real good work. We had a limited amount of penalties, which was good overall. You always like to see. There were a couple foolish ones, but very few overall.

CN: Any turnovers on defense?

McCarney: There was only one. Ellis Hobbs got an interception and that was it all day out of 102 snaps in a scrimmage, and that's a real positive for the offense. Bret Meyer threw the pass. We'd sure like to get more defensively, but they knocked out another and the offense recovered it.

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