McCarney Big 12 Teleconference

Iowa State head coach Dan McCarney met with the Big 12 media via teleconference Monday morning to discuss the Cyclones' road victory at Baylor, and to look ahead to a return trip home to face Kansas on Saturday. Here are some highlights.

On status of tight end Brett Kellogg:

"He will definitely not play this week. Had some early tests done. The good news is that it doesn't look like it's going to require any surgery. The bad news is he will not be available this week, and it probably be just week-to-week. We're hoping to get him back in the next few weeks."

On Kansas' improvement on defense:

"They're an excellent defense overall. They have great speed up front with their defensive linemen and linebackers. It's an outstanding defensive front. There is just experience all over. They've got a lot of guys back that started, and a lot of guys back that played. They're playing with tremendous confidence. They blocked a field goal and blocked a punt. They're really improved on both sides of the ball. We're going to have to step it up this Saturday."

On Jayhawks' two-quarterback approach, compared to his approach:

"We did that early in the first few games, because that's what we felt was best. That was a performance decision that we made, because neither one had forged ahead, moved ahead, or performed better and deserved to be on the field more. That has changed in the last couple weeks. Bret has elevated his play and deserves to be our starter, and Austin Flynn is our backup.

"We had a pre-set rotation early in the season before the game started, and knew when we were going to put Austin in, whether that was first quarter or second quarter, and then when we were going to get him in in the second half. We don't have that anymore, and are with a starter and backup. He's got to stay ready in any situation. But Bret's our starter and we'll go with him as long as he continues to play good football, perform, and stay healthy."

On play of Brandon Brown, Big 12's defensive player of the week:

"He does his job quietly, literally. He's got one of the great personalities on this team, but he's one of those guys that you're not going to hear a lot about. He's not going to say a lot of things. He's not loud and bragadocious. But he observes things off the field about as closely as anybody I've ever seen. He is a wonderful young man that's playing his tail off.

"He's motivated for a lot of reasons right now. He knows his career at Iowa State is quickly coming to a close here as a senior. I'm really proud of him and thankful of the Big 12 noticing that and honoring the way he played Saturday."

On more of a rotation possible at running back:

"Jason Scales did in the game Saturday just what we had been seeing in practice. He had some good, tough, hard north-and-south runs and made some guys miss. He and Stevie both averaged four-and-a-half yards a carry. We'll continue to play both of those running backs. Jason is really coming on, and is one of the many young guys playing well.

"You look at the play-by-play after the game, and it's the freshman Scales scores. (Bret) Culbertson the freshman kicks a PAT. (Todd) Blythe scores and he's a freshman wide receiver. It was thrown from a freshman quarterback. (Brent) Curvey runs a touchdown back 65 yards, and he's a sophomore defensive lineman. Stevie Hicks gets his touchdown, and he's a sophomore.

"There is a lot of youth, but this time of year there are no rookies. The good news is these kids are continuing to get better, which we have to the last month of the regular season. They have lots of time left here at Iowa State."

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