Iowa State vs. UNI Post Quotebook

<b>AMES, IA --</b> Iowa State opened the 2004 regular season with a convincing 23-0 victory over Northern Iowa Saturday in Ames. Here are select quotes from head coach Dan McCarney and his players following the effort.

Dan McCarney:

"I was real proud of the football team. We obviously made all kinds of mistakes, but it was a good win. I still have a tremendous amount of respect, despite a 23-0 score, for Northern Iowa. There's no doubt they'll go on to win a lot of games this year with their schedule."

"I don't think there's any doubt we have the chance to be a better football team this year. I've just felt better about this football team since we started. It's very young and we went with a lot of kids playing for the first time. But we didn't turn the ball over once on offense. We made some mistakes in certain situations, and yet we made some real big plays when we needed to. Regardless of who it is, when you limit somebody to 99 yards and no points, there are some real good things there defensively."

"I liked the quarterbacks. I thought both of them did some good things. Obviously, Bret will really learn from his experience today, and the things he did well and mistakes he made."

"We're not going to take huge, giant steps each week. But we've got to continue to make the strides that we have in the last month, and then build on what we did today. There are a lot of things from today we can build on."

"The one thing I didn't like is we didn't get any turnovers, and I think we should have had at least two of them. But our coverage overall was real good. Rarely did I see anybody at all behind our defensive backs, which means they were playing real solid coverage. For the most part we were sound. For our first game, we tackled pretty well. I didn't think we missed a lot of tackles. They played with a lot of enthusiasm on a real hot day."

"I think Bret still did a lot of good things today, and was over 60 percent. Without watching the tape, my gut would be that he'd still start and Austin would play. I like both of them on the field. You saw Austin make some nice throws and nice plays. But we'll watch the tape and make a final evaluation."

"We had a (quarterback) rotation all set up ahead of time, regardless of the score. Both Bret and Austin knew that. We wanted to continue looking at both of them. Austin did a real good job and I didn't see him with his nose in the air or giving anyone dirty looks because Bret went in the next series. This team really understands the team concept so far, and I hope that will continue."

"(Tony Yelk) could have gone today. He's been in and out of practice with a pulled muscle. I didn't lie to anyone about that. That's all he's had. It's not serious. He kicked and punted in pre-game warmups. One of the reasons I held Tony to get him back to 100 percent is the improvement of Brian Jansen. I was really proud of that kid. He missed one field goal, but he did almost exactly what we wanted him to do on kickoffs."

"I didn't really pay attention to the losing streak, and how many games it was. The whole season was a nightmare and I wanted to get that behind us as soon as we could. I took full responsibility for it and we moved on a long time ago. We focused on this coaching staff, these players, and this season. There is nothing we can do to change last year, but what we've got to do is make sure it doesn't happen again."

"We sure weren't as physical as we needed to be today, but we made strides. I challenged them and the team responded. We've got to come out with some real physical practices and build on it."

"Some of the real good seasons we had here, there were some real good drives. You always want to come out of it with points, and we didn't do that all the time today, but there were some better, time-consuming drives. We wore the defense out on the other side and rested the defense on our side. Those things all add up. It's complementing both sides of the ball and helping each other."

"(Tyson Smith) looked good and I'm real proud of him. He's had a real good camp. It does your heart good to watch a guy like Tyson, who's had that major injury, come back and play real well. It's an inspiration to see him. He had an injury that some guys come back off of and some don't."

Stevie Hicks:

"It was a good day. We could have done better, but it's nice to pick up that first win. Now we need to get ready for that next game."

"The first series we came out hard and strong. We moved the ball down the field and I had some nice holes. It's what we've been looking for from the beginning. We wanted to take it down the field on the first series. We need to keep that momentum and step it up even more next week."

Tyson Smith:

"We played well as a group. Everybody out there ran to the ball, hustled to the ball, and made plays. It was an overall group effort out there. Thanks to our offense, their defense was tired and we had fresh legs. We were able to pretty much shut them down."

"This is what I love doing. I'm just glad I have another year to come out and prove to everybody that we can come back and play with these teams. I'm glad I had a redshirt and could come back."

Bret Meyer:

"We drove the ball down the field and moved it well. Our offensive line really took control. Coach Cotton has been getting on them to be physical, and I think they did that today."

"That was a two-minute drill and I was real focused that I was going to do it. We had a couple of setbacks with some false starts, but we persevered through it."

"I was pretty relaxed. The veterans did a great job of helping me out throughout the game. I just went out there and did my thing. I didn't worry about the people or the other team, and did what I was told to do."

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