ISU vs. NU Postgame Quotebook

<b>AMES, IA --</b> Iowa State head coach Dan McCarney and select players reflect on their 34-27 victory over Nebraska Saturday afternoon at Jack Trice Stadium.

Dan McCarney:

"I'm really proud of my football team. it was a hard fought battle with the Cornhuskers, and a great effort by both teams. I thought in the end their was great resolve with our football team to find a way to win that game."

"We had a lot of guys out of the lineup. Brandon Brown, unfortunately, may have to have surgery tomorrow. I think his career is over at Iowa State. So far the only bad thing and sad thing about the day. It just breaks your heart, because he has given so much to this program and did today to help us win that game."

"We've got an open week, which is great. I was really proud of the resolve of this team today. They continue to get better each week, and made lots of mistakes. We had a number of guys in and out of the lineup, as you saw. Tyson (Smith) got hurt in practice this week and was unable to play. We hope to get him back in one of these next two games."

"But in the end we made a few more plays. The heart of this team, the mental toughness of this team is great. Anytime you win a big game over Nebraska, there are a lot of people who did a great job. I'm sure proud of the job Bret Culbertson is doing. He's got a great look in his eye. Bret Meyer did some fantastic things today. We had some chances to put it away a little earlier in the game, but that wouldn't have been so exciting for the fans." (winks) I'm really proud of this team and my staff, along with the Cyclone fans."

"It goes back to what the team is made of. There are great kids in this program. We were embarrassed after the A&M loss. They were an outstanding football team, but we knew we could play better. We should have beaten Colorado. This could be our fourth win in a row, but the bottom line is we're improving each week. Even though we made a number of mistakes today against a real motivated Nebraska team, there is no doubt we improved again today. We did some things better."

"We'll go right back to work. I will give these kids some time off. We'll get some work done tomorrow. I can't wait to get back on the field and coach this football team. They're about as coachable as any team I've been around."

"There is so much football to be played. There are two more teams in front of us that just hammered us and blew us out last year. One on the road and one at home. There are some great challenges ahead in these next two games. But I'm proud of this team, and now they have something to show for their hard work. There is something that's really there, and we have a lot to play for in these next two games. It makes it a great feeling."

"He's a special player. He dislocated his finger on the last touchdown of the first half, and still played in the second half. He played his heart out and we couldn't have won the game without him. He's one of the better receivers in the Big 12 Conference, and is a redshirt freshman. He had nearly 200 yards of total offense at halftime. He's a tremendous competitor and will get better and better. He's one of the toughest kid we have on this team, mentally and physically."

"Mike Grant has headed up our recruiting over there, and done a heck of a job. Those kids played with an extra heartbeat today. There isn't any revenge involved in anything, but you get a chance to play against your home state program. Those kids stood up and did a great job."

"There were a lot of big plays in the game. There was no doubt that we needed to get off to a good start. We challenged our kids. This was a team that blew us out 28-0 last year, and are coming off a great win over Missouri. They were in first place. You've got to get off to a good start, and we did a good job of that."

"We made some big plays in the throwing game. Bret Meyer saw the field well and had great vision. We could have sat on it (late in the second quarter), but felt good. Let's go after it and see if we can get a touchdown. There was a lot of confidence in the locker room that we would win the game."

"Our offensive coaches gave us a chance to win the game. We knew that we couldn't go in here and rush for 200 yards against this defense. We had to have some running game, which we did, and keep them off balance a little bit. But we knew that we were going to throw it more than we normally like to. I thought we did a good job executing, and the protection was pretty good most of the time."

"He's growing and improving. He stepped up in front of the team last night. There were a handful of guys that wanted to say a few things. That's the first time Bret has talked in front of the football team all year, and I give him a chance every day at practice. He sounded like a fourth- or fifth-year senior, instead of a redshirt freshman. He backed it up today and was a tremendous leader."

"We thought it wouldn't take that long, and we'd get one before that. We had our chances in the game, and dropped a couple we should have had. But in the end it was one of the biggest plays in the game. Tim Dobbins just gets better and better. He was in the right place at the right time."

"The only explanation I got (on the fourth timeout) that it was on us, meaning the officials. I had not gotten a clear explanation, and they are great in this conference about letting you know. They were out of timeouts and they called one. There was a flag on the ground. I'll get an explanation."

"It was an excellent victory last week without a big day offensively. We found a way to win. Today we broke out offensively and it was great to see. This team is finding ways to win. It's not always the prettiest or dominant, but they're finding a way to win. It's a lot of fun to coach this team."

"You'd like to go out and play next week after today, but we've also got some guys nicked besides Brandon Brown. Hopefully that will give us an opportunity to get some guys back. I don't know yet on Tyson. We've got some other guys bruised up, but they'll heal quickly after a win like this."

"There was a lot of pressure today. When you're playing for a chance to tie for the Big 12 North. People have said we're soft as a pillow, an underdog, and have no business even being considered. We heard all that stuff and read it. But these kids didn't flinch and they showed up to play today. Hopefully they'll be mature enough and mentally tough enough, because we've got a lot to play for these next two Saturdays."

"We didn't play as well as we wanted to in the second half, but credit Nebraska's offense and Bill Callahan and Jay Norvell. They've got a good system. They only turned it over once today, but it was the biggest turnover of the day for us. We've managed to make some big plays. We blocked two kicks. The last three years we've had punts blocked against us, but our protection was outstanding today, and our punter and coverage were outstanding."

"We've got each other's backs and it's not some phony theme. We really mean that day in and day out. These kids really enjoy playing together. Each one of these wins we get is a bigger one. Each victory is bigger. Hopefully the confidence will continue to grow, because we'll need it these next two games."

"We won the kicking game again today, and did last week. That had a lot to do with it. Blocked kicks are huge. Nick Leaders has had four blocked kicks this year, and had one on the field goal."

"Anytime Iowa State can beat Nebraska, it's tremendous. Nebraska has been one of the classiest programs over the years. I'm really amazed with the resolve of these kids and maturity they've showed for the youngest team I've had in my 10 years here. They love being coached and love each other. We go out on the field and get better."

Cale Stubbe:

"It was huge for us. It felt like 2002 all over again, same deal with the offense on the field trying to get a first down. We needed that first down and it was awesome. I can't even explain the feeling. There were a lot of young guys out there, but we're in our ninth game and there are really no young guys anymore. We needed to believe in each other that we'd get the first down. Bret came in there and said we were going to do this. It was awesome."

"It was amazing, throwing and running. He made a lot of checks today at the line, and that's amazing for a freshman to do that. I felt like he and the offense really came on. They took the lid off in the end zone and got a few touchdowns. It felt great to get those rewards."

"You can't even describe the feeling. We've gone through so many things since last year and not getting a single Big 12 win. That's all we thought about through the summer and winter. Getting this win was huge for us. It lifts our spirits. It feels like 2002 all over again. It was awesome."

Bret Culbertson:

"It felt pretty good. I'm solid right now and hope I can keep it that way. Surprisingly, I feel pretty calm out there. I feel as relaxed as I've ever been. Once you're in the zone, you block everything out and don't hear anything. You just kick it through."

Todd Blythe:

"It was so much fun. I've never been a part of something like that when fans storm the field like that. I was fortunate enough to watch two years ago when we beat Nebraska, and I wanted to be a part of it as a player. After the game, we could barely move."

"At the end of the game three weeks ago when we played Texas A&M, the stands were empty. They were empty today at the end of the game, too, but that's because everybody came down on the field. It was a blast."

"The coaches just said we were going to take one more shot at the end zone before we went in to kick a field goal. The play was designed for Jon Davis and I to streak down the sidelines. Bret just threw it out there. Cortney Grixby was the guy covering me, and he was a freshman. Bret probably recognized that, and was able to throw it over the top to me for a touchdown."

"We made big plays when we had to today. We had a drive that started at the (four) today and we got a field goal. As the weeks go by we're getting more and more confidence."

Ellis Hobbs:

"I knew we weren't playing as ourselves. Right before that last drive they tried to make, I got the guys together and said that. It was just like Northern Illinois at the half. We came up with some big third-down stops at the end, and then got that turnover."

"We're going to keep putting our hard hat on and going to work. We're going to keep doing the same thing that got us here – working hard and staying extra hours in the film room and on the practice field. Nothing is going to change for us."

"We took it as another team. Normally when you play a Nebraska team you put nine in the box and man up all day. It was more to our advantage today, because that's what we've seen all year. We knew that if we got those guys to start passing the ball we would have a better chance. We had some breakdowns out there, but kept pressing and flying around."

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