Pre-Iowa Q&A with Nick Leaders

Senior captain Nick Leaders will play in his last Iowa State-Iowa game on Saturday. The Omaha native discusses Iowa's 'Super Bowl' game.

What is the emotion like on this team?


Leaders: It's finally here, it's all everyone talks. It's all everyone wants to talk about [in the] preseason. We got our first game out of the way, it wasn't pretty but we got a win. And now we're all focusing on Iowa, who got a great win against Ball State. We got a lot of work to do this week to get ready for this game.



Did you watch the Iowa game?


Leaders: A little bit



What did you think of it?


Leaders: They dominated every phase of the game, offense, defense and special teams. One thing they didn't get a lot of reps in as ones but they got a lot of good work in and they played real good.



Is this a red letter day for you?


Leaders: Definitely, I don't know how anybody can say it's not.



Some people say it's just another game.


Leaders: It's IowaIowa State. It's all everyone talks about all year long. I'm definitely ready for this game; it's a different atmosphere for this one.



Is this the most anticipated game during your stay here? Both of you guys have high expectations?


Leaders: It might be, I think someone outside said this could be the first time we're both coming off bowl victories. We've both got pretty experienced teams and we're both looking for good things this season. Hopefully it will turn out into a good match up.



Brian Ferentz, what kind of player is he?


Leaders: He's a good, physical player. He's aggressive and he knows his stuff. Being a coach's son, being an O-line coach, he's obviously going to have great technique.



Have you played against him?


Leaders: My sophomore year.



Do you think you guys learned more about your team than Iowa did?


Leaders: We definitely got to play a lot more football and we got a little more conditioning in by playing a four quarter football game. So I guess we could say we know a little bit more about our team and we know what we need to work on.



From a player standpoint how disappointing was the first half Saturday?


Leaders: Defensively we played alright. We gave up some big plays but we definitely can't give up two long touchdown plays against any opponent we're playing. It's definitely unacceptable competing in the Big 12. It's just frustrating overall not being able to execute and if we can get our offense and defense clicking at the same time, we showed some signs of pretty good potential.



Will you do some blitzing to keep Iowa honest?


Leaders: We're going to have to mix and match. We're going to have to pick our situations. Hopefully we can be able to control the run and get them in the third and long situations where we know they're going to be passing the ball so we can hopefully get some pressure on Tate.



A quarterback like Tate, he escapes from tough situations. What's it like playing against that on the d-line?


Leaders: It's a lot of standing in pass-rush lanes. You've got to get pressure in his face because you can't let him stand back there and throw all day, but just always running to the ball because you never know.



Could Berryman be better than he was his freshman year?


Leaders: Possibly, he gained 20-30 pounds so he's got more strength. He looked like he was running around pretty good. He got winded in the fourth but he should be able to get that back this week.

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