CN: How about starting with some overall thoughts and observations on Saturday's game?
Montgomery: I believe the key moment in Saturday's game was the pass interference called on Ellis Hobbs in the end zone on Moser's interception. The refs did a poor job on that call. It may not have been the only reason the Clones loss, but it had a huge part to do with it. It seemed like that play took all of the air out of us, especially when they ended up scoring on that drive. I think A&M played with much more confidence then we did this weekend.
CN: Are you starting to sense some of the 'here we go again' outlook from the team, after the way it got away early?
Montgomery: I think we have played a couple of good teams the last two weeks, so I haven't sensed too much of here we go again from the players. I think there is great leadership on this team, and this is when it needs to rise to the surface. If the attitude stays positive, this team will come along and win some games.
CN: The offense continues to struggle and has scored just 10 points in two conference games. What were some of the biggest deficiencies in their play on Saturday?
Montgomery: The ability to punch the ball into the end zone when in the red zone was the biggest deficiency on Saturday. There had to have been three or four instances on Saturday when we had the ball in the red zone and came away with no points. This problem is fixed with confidence. The guys have to know that they are going to score when they get that close.
CN: Obviously, the Cyclones will have to make due with the players they've got on the field. So what can be done by the offensive staff to get the ship righted?
Montgomery: I believe they have to start by choosing one quarterback, and stick with him. I believe that quarterback should be Austin Flynn, but whoever it is will have a more consistent effort. The problems we are having don't have to do with the personnel we have; they have to do with the confidence those players have. The staff needs to find a way to raise the confidence of this part of the team, or it will be a long season.
Montgomery: This game was not a physical mismatch, and we were not getting blown off the ball by any means. I wouldn't even call it an all around speed mismatch, granted there were a couple burners on their team like Reggie McNeal. But we also have some speed. They were just more prepared and ready to play. They flew to the ball on defense and made big plays on offense.
CN: We saw some uncharacteristic mistakes out of the Cyclone secondary. What attributed to that?
Montgomery: I think McNeal is a pretty good quarterback, so whenever a defensive back made a mistake he saw it and took advantage of it. I know that we have defensive backs that are able to cover Big 12 caliber receivers, because they cover Todd Blythe and Jon Davis everyday in practice. But the mental lapses just kill us. I think all of the defensive backs maybe had one or two bad plays, and those add up.
CN: Talk about the play of McNeal, who hurt Iowa State with his arm instead of his feet.
Montgomery: I think he hurt us with both his feet and his arm. He hit the open receivers when they were open, and when they weren't he scrambled for the first downs. I think McNeal is one of the most talented quarterbacks in the nation, and he is hard to shut down.
CN: How much of a role did the horrid pass interference penalty in the end zone play in ISU's performance early?
Montgomery: I thought the play of the Cyclones before the pass interference was very impressive, but when the pass interference happened I could see the air get blown out of their sails. The call affected us for the rest of the game.
CN: What were the Aggies able to do, and Cyclones not able to do, during their 96-yard scoring drive midway through the second quarter?
Montgomery: When a team drives 96 yards to score they are doing mostly everything right. We were close on a couple of the plays on that drive, but just didn't make the plays to stall their drive. When you get the ball moved 96 yards on you there isn't too much you are doing good. We couldn't stop the run or the pass.
CN: Explain the defensive strategy employed by A&M against wide receiver Todd Blythe.
Montgomery: The Aggies didn't do much different than Oklahoma State did last week. The difference was that Todd made the plays last week that he didn't make on Saturday. We can expect a lot of double coverage the next three years on Todd Blythe, so he is just going to have to make the plays with two men on him.
CN: Where must the Cyclones start in practice this week to get focused on Colorado?
Montgomery: I think they need to start having fun again. Colorado is a place where we know we can win, and we should have won the last time we played there. These guys are football players and they just need to remember what it takes to win. They need to have a good physical week of practice to get some confidence back.