All facets clicking for the Cyclones

Saturday will be the first scrimmage of the preseason for Iowa State and things have been coming together nicely for the Cyclones during the first couple of weeks of practice.

On the eve of the Iowa State's first scrimmage the Cyclones' practice looked a little more realistic on Friday with the use of chains for the first time. 


Iowa State once again emphasized the redzone, an area head coach Dan McCarney said the Cyclones need to improve on – regardless the side of the ball.


Overall practices have been going very well and McCarney said one side hasn't clearly dominated the other.


At wide receiver R.J. Sumrall is in the mix for playing time, McCarney said the redshirt freshman has picked up right where he left off in the spring.


Marquis Hamilton, a 6-foot-3, 215 pound freshman from Oklahoma City, Okla., has also looked good during preseason drills.


"Marquis Hamilton is a guy we'll make a decision [on] here probably in the next 10 days," McCarney said. "He's very impressive so far, but it's not like he's a got a lot of average guys running around out there - Davis and Blythe and Flynn's really playing well, Moses. It's just a good group of receivers. The competition is better than it was in the spring."


The play of Todd Blythe has left the head coach shaking his head in astonishment.


"I'm just amazed at Todd Blythe, I am but I shouldn't be," McCarney said. "How effective he is, how good he plays and hard he practices, coming off what kind of surgery he had. He doesn't look like he's missed a beat."


On the defensive front, Alvin Bowen continues to impress.


"He's learning, he's been able to run fast since we started camp and now he's playing fast," McCarney said.


Behind Nick Leaders and Brent Curvey, Iowa State is still looking for depth. Thomas Patton, Jason McGinty and Bryce Braaksma are in position to get some snaps in on game day.


"[Curvey and Leaders] will stay out there all day if we want them, but I don't want them too," McCarney said. "I want to give them some timely breaks in the game."


Redshirt freshmen Travis Ferguson and Kurtis Taylor have been working on the outside, doing some rush and end work. McCarney said they have been doing some good things on the practice field.


"It's time for those guys to make their move," McCarney said. "They have athleticism; God gave them a good body. They can run; they're both athletic. They need to get in the mix so we can count on them more on game day."


McCarney also pointed out that all the starting defensive backs have been playing well as a unit.


As for the kicking game, both Corey Paetznick and Bret Culbertson were 8-of-8 at Friday's practice.


"That's real good and we're glad to see it and we hope we can build on it," McCarney said.


After an hour of fundamental practice on Saturday, Iowa State will have a scrimmage consisting of 50-60 plays.

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