Preseason FB Camp Report 8/22/04

<B>AMES, IA --</B> Iowa State wrapped up nearly two weeks of training camp with a big scrimmage on Saturday. But with two weeks left before the season opener against Northern Iowa, the Cyclones also broke camp with some question marks. Head coach Dan McCarney evaluated this weekend in a question-and-answer session with

CN: How about starting with a few thoughts on Saturday's final scrimmage of training camp?

McCarney: It was nothing special. We had about eight or nine guys in the two-deep that didn't scrimmage, so that distorts how effective each side of the ball can be. But none of the guys that missed yesterday will be missing the UNI game. They should all be back this week. But it really does disrupt things when you're missing a number of guys that you count on not scrimmage.

But we still got a lot of work done, it was competitive, and another good evaluation. It was a chance to see what guys will do under the gun when it's live and full speed.

CN: Were you able to make any decisions on starters after Saturday?

McCarney: Not really. There is nothing I'm going to share with the public right now. We haven't made a decision at the quarterback spot. We're going to scrimmage Wednesday, and then try to get things finalized as soon as we can after that. I'm not under any certain timeline to name a starter at a certain time. When I'm comfortable with it and I feel we have made that decision, then I'll go ahead and do it. We sure haven't done it yet. We'll get good padded practices in Monday and Tuesday, then another scrimmage on Wednesday.

CN: Any more choices on which newcomers will be playing, and which ones won't?

McCarney: It's the same ones we've talked about before. There aren't any new adjustments there, or changes. We still have another week (of practice before going into game week). We don't have to make those decisions up until game time, really. We can really use this week to continue evaluating all of the young guys to see which ones we're going to use. All of the J.C. guys are going to play. We feel pretty confident about that. All of the high school kids I've mentioned to you are going to play.

CN: The wide receiving positions were wide open going into Saturday. How did they look?

McCarney: They caught the ball better than they have all fall and all spring. We threw and caught the ball better than we have at any time since we started last March. We've been below average at best from a consistency standpoint since last March. This is the most consistent we've been, especially the top two quarterbacks. I think all of our receivers did a nice job, too.

CN: How much of that had to do with improved line play up front?

McCarney: Sure, it had something to do with it. If you're completing passes and the quarterback is not on his back, we're protecting better. But we're not a finished product by any means. There isn't anybody in the Big 12 getting nervous about Iowa State because we completed some passes yesterday.

CN: How would you grade the running game?

McCarney: It was all solid. Nothing special there, but it was OK. We've got a long ways to go and need to get a lot better. When you come from the worst offense in the Big 12, you've got nowhere to go but up. We need to stop that non-sense and go back to being a good Cyclone offense like we were for years and years.

CN: Was the defense able to force some turnovers and be successful?

McCarney: It was very average. There wasn't anything real special about our defense. A number of guys in the two-deep didn't scrimmage, so they were average at best. We left a lot to be desired, so it was nothing special. Nobody was outstanding. We need to get guys back on the field that didn't practice yesterday. We had a number of twos playing ones and threes playing twos, so you don't get a real good measure of how you performed.

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