Post-game: Dan McCarney

ISU head coach Dan McCarney talks to the media after the Cyclones 23-3 win over No. 8 Iowa.

I'm real proud of my staff and players. We had to be one of the most improved teams in the country from week one to week two. I said that a week ago today and I thought that's the way we played.


Just determination and focus and the physicalness of our team, the confidence they played with was really, really impressive and I'm really proud. They earned it. There wasn't anything that was given. It was a real tough, physical victory over an outstanding Iowa team.


I hope and pray that Drew Tate is okay. We never want to see anyone get hurt on our team, their team. Especially somebody who is such a tremendous competitor. So our thoughts and prayers are with him and I sure hope he's okay.


Kirk's got a great program. I still think he has an excellent football team, but the Cyclones were better today. I was just really proud of this football team.


What did this win tell you about your football team?


McCarney: We improved a lot, they responded to coaching. They were extremely disappointed with last week, but they made a lot of improvement. If we can do that from week one to week two who knows what we can do as the season unveils. It was just a step, but it's a big step. It's our second win but it's a big step to where we want to be at the end of the season.


Talk about the play of the offensive line.


McCarney: Much improved and Iowa's got fantastic linebackers and are still a real good defense. We got better as that game wore on. We improved over the week and it was nice to see Fisher get some playing time and Stephenson continues to get better and better. We didn't out-rush them but the time of possession was very important.


In your wildest dreams did you imagine Iowa would have 5 turnovers?


McCarney: No, we always want to get a minimum of 3. We set that each week. We had a chance, there was a ball or two we thought we should have had. So it just gives you an idea of what we do if we keep on playing aggressive defense. Just a tremendous job by my coaching staff.


Talk about LaMarcus' score.


McCarney: Tremendous play. We talk about it all the time. John Skladany starts our practices each day with a fumble drill or an interception drill where they go score as a defense. We're all creatures of habit and if you do successful things in practice you have a chance to do successful things on game day.


Is this the biggest victory ever for you?


McCarney: I don't know that, I can't say that. There's been a lot of great ones. I just have such great respect for Kirk and his staff and the players. It's hard to say biggest, second, third, fourth. It's just a big win for all of us at Iowa State. It's the sixth in eight years and I think we have a successful program that's here to say for awhile


Your first win over a top 10 team.


McCarney: I didn't even think of it to be honest. I didn't even think about it. It's a long time coming I guess.


Talk about your secondary.


McCarney: Those guys are a great bunch back there. LaMarcus Hicks is the one new starter but I thought those guys did a great job of braking on the ball, holding their coverage.


Were you concerned about the heat?


McCarney: No, the good thing is we had a lot of heat this week in practice. We had some heat during camp and then the majority of our guys were here this summer. Matt McGettigan did a real nice job getting our kids ready for the camp and two-a-days and this season.


Talk about Troy Blankenship.


McCarney: Blank was outstanding, two weeks in a row he's been outstanding. You like to see your seniors play their best and he sure is. Between him and Tony Yelk, both of them are just doing a great job.


Tony didn't hit a PAT or field goal until pre-game warm-up today, that's the first time since the game last week. We're trying to rest him; we're trying to get him ready.


All of Ames and a lot of people all over are patting you on the back; can the team deal with that?


McCarney: We'll find out. We came in at halftime and challenged the kids to improve and keep their focus. We challenged the kids in the locker room right now to behave, to win with class to enjoy it for 24 hours but lets not have any distractions or problems and then lets refocus and get ready for the next one.


Does this win taste different?


McCarney:  We know the magnitude of this game. We know how much it means to the Iowa State fans. We've also seen teams that have won this game go on and be a major disappointment. I don't want that to happen to this football team. But I also want our fans to enjoy this and my players and our staff. Because it's hard to beat Iowa, there's not many teams who have done it in the last 3 years and we're one of them.


Is Jason Berryman okay? He was a little shaken up in the second half.


McCarney: He's okay; he's a great young man. He continues to mature. I'm proud of him every bit and more so his growth as a man since I allowed him to be evaluated and come back on this team. He'll be fine; he won't miss a bit of practice.


Was there one pivotal play?


McCarney: No, there was lots and lots of stops by our defense. There was lots of third down conversions by our offense. Our special teams did a lot of great things. But I was just really happy to see that trophy back in our locker room for our seniors. I wanted those seniors to have that back for the sixth time in eight years.


Who got the game ball?


McCarney: Bruce Van De Velde announced he's going to get game balls for everybody. So there was a lot of excitement in the locker room.



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