Football Insider: Colorado Post-Game

Iowa State lost one of its most disappointing games in the Dan McCarney era Saturday in Boulder, coming up on the wrong side of a 19-14 defeat. With time to reflect on and review the Cyclone defeat, former offensive lineman Bob Montgomery evaluates the effort in the seventh of a series of post-game reports.

CN: How about starting with some general comments on Iowa State's 19-14 loss at Colorado?

Montgomery: I think we will we be a better football once we figure out a way to put the ball in the end zone and shore up our special teams. We outplayed the Buffs on offense and defense, besides the red zone offense, and just couldn't find a way to win.

CN: Did this team gain anything from Saturday, or will it go down as just another disappointing Big 12 loss?

Montgomery: If this game did anything it gave the Clones some confidence, making them realize that they can compete in this league. They were on the road at a difficult place to play, and should have realistically won the game. If this team gains some confidence they will be a tough team in the Big 12.

CN: Do you see any emotional or psychological problems setting in with this team? Why or why not?

Montgomery: I don't see any problems setting in with this team. A majority of these players have been through a growing experience last season as players, and they don't want that to happen again. The only tension may form with the inability of the offense to score, but I think the defensive staff and players will be patient with the young offense as they find themselves. The leaders on this team will not allow this team to be emotionally torn.

CN: With all of the Cyclones' struggles in the kicking game, how does that effect the morale of an offense?

Montgomery: I don't think the offense should worry about the special teams, because they have their own concerns. We wouldn't have to worry about kicking field goals if we could put the ball in the end zone. However, it would be nice to be guaranteed three points when we reach the red zone.

CN: What type of game did Bret Meyer have in his first full-time action as ISU's quarterback?

Montgomery: I think Bret is a very impressive athlete and quarterback. I especially like the strength of his arm. I still think that he could make some quicker reads and decisions, but that will come with maturity. I would like Bret to take charge in the red zone and find a way to get the ball in the end zone. This is something that I think Austin Flynn is very good at when he is in the game.

CN: The lone offensive score of the day came on a long pass from Meyer to Todd Blythe. Given the struggles in the red zone, do you see ISU taking more shots downfield in the coming weeks?

Montgomery: I think we would be stupid if we didn't go for the long ball to Jon Davis or Todd Blythe a number of times each game. I don't think it really has anything to do with the fact that we are struggling in the red zone. I think it is a nice way to loosen up the defense, which could lead to a more productive running game.

CN: Even though the Cyclone offense continues to have success between the 20s, they struggled again in the red zone where they were again 0-fer on Saturday. What can this group do to have more success?

Montgomery: They have to travel down to Waco and score the first time they enter the red zone, then they will start rolling to a great season. I am telling you, all this team needs is confidence. Once they start believing in themselves, they will start putting the ball in the end zone.

CN: One positive was Stevie Hicks' 100-yard rushing performance. Give us your analysis of the Cyclone ground game. What was going right? Which offensive linemen played particularly well?

Montgomery: Luke Vander Sanden played especially well on Saturday. He showed that we have been missing one of our best players to injuries the last couple years. Stevie also showed glimpses of his abilities. He ran hard and hit the holes with less dancing around. We looked like a hard-nose, blue-collar group up front. All of them played tough at points throughout the game. Now all we have to do is find a way to score in the red zone.

CN: Defensively, the Cyclones came up big on a number of occasions. Assess the play of John Skladany's unit.

Montgomery: The defense dominated the game on Saturday, only giving up points on long field goals and special teams mishaps. The interceptions on Saturday were exceptional. Ellis Hobbs and Tyson Smith showed their playmaking abilities, while Tim Dobbins made one of the great plays in college football over the weekend. The play of the defense is what gives this team a chance to stay in games while the offense comes along.

CN: Go through the two muffed punts by the Cyclones that proved to be costly.

Montgomery: Todd Miller just made a mistake on the first one, but I don't think there was any reason to pull him so fast. He has been a staple in our special teams for the last four years, and I don't believe that is what needs to be changed. The second fumble was simply a miscommunication between the returner and the blocker. I think we could maybe draw up a punt return with both of our returners back there and we would be twice as dangerous.

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