FB Insider: Bye Week

Iowa State is preparing to get back into action with its Big 12 opener against Oklahoma State Saturday afternoon. But the focus of this edition will be the bye week, and the offensive line. Former Cyclone Bob Montgomery evaluates the O-line's effort in the fourth of a series of reports.

CN: What were bye weekends like during your playing career? What did you spend your off time doing?

Montgomery: Bye weekends are a good opportunity to catch up on some rest and get your mind off of football for a while. If Coach Mac gave us two days off, so I would head home and hang out with the family. But usually there wasn't enough time to do that, so I would catch up on my Playstation NCAA Football and sleep. We would try not to watch too much college football we enjoyed a mental break from the game.

CN: Since there's no game to break down this week, let's mostly focus on your area of expertise along the offensive line. In your opinion, what things can be improved along the offensive front in two weeks between games?

Montgomery: The most important thing that needs to be improved from the first three games is the running game. We have not been able to establish a decent running game for a couple years now and that is how you win big games. Running the ball helps all aspects of the team. The number one way to improve this aspect is to increase the confidence. This will happen with Luke VanderSanden coming back and an extra week of film. These men up front need to believe they can get the job done and they will.

CN: Let's focus on the play of the starters up front. Give us your analysis of Aaron Brant's play, and what some things he'll need to improve.

Montgomery: Aaron has played considerably better than last season so far. I can see the confidence in him rising as it should. He has got the tools to be a great lineman in this league. A couple of aspects that Aaron could improve on include his finishing abilities and leadership.

CN: How about Kory Pence?

Montgomery: Kory Pence is as stout as they come. If he locks on a defender he isn't letting them go. There are not too many defensive players that are going to run over Kory. Some things that Kory could work on include his awareness and footwork. When Kory knows what he is doing and takes the correct steps to get there he is tough to beat.

CN: How about Luke Vander Sanden and Brian Lutter, who have spent time at center?

Montgomery: Regardless of who is playing center this year, you know to expect a tough son of a gun. Both of the guys lay their heart on the line every time they touch the field. We haven't seen too much of Luke this year, but starting the Oklahoma State game, we will and expect great things. As for Brian, there is no backup with a better attitude in the country. The kid knows he is undersized and at a disadvantage, but it doesn't matter to him. He is going to do anything he can to get the job done. The main area that I could see Brian improving is in footwork when the bullets are flying.

CN: How about Seth Zehr?

Montgomery: I believe Seth has the opportunity to become one of the best linemen to ever come through this University if he ever starts trusting himself on the field. He has the ability and power to run over about anyone if he ever lets himself loose. He has to become more consistent at playing at his highest intensity if he is going to reach his potential as an offensive lineman.

CN: How about Cale Stubbe?

Montgomery: Stubbe is playing with much more confidence this year compared to last. He has adjusted nicely to the left tackle position, as we haven't seen too many blind side hits on our quarterbacks. The one thing he could maybe work on is his technique. He has been caught off balance or playing too high a couple times.

CN: You also had a good read on the defensive line, having gone up against those guys week after week. What are some positives and negatives of this group through three games?

Montgomery: I watch my guys on the O-line much more then the D-line but as a fan I don't have too many complaints about our D-line. Nick Leaders and Tyson Smith are doing a great job of leading these guys and playing with great confidence. As long as they keep playing fast and with the confidence they have they are going too be tough to contain.

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