With room to improve, Cyclones gear up for Army

Nearly a week removed from Iowa State's 23-3 victory over Iowa, the Cyclones have put that intensity and focus shown against the Hawkeyes into beating the Army Black Knights and starting the season 3-0.

"There's plenty of things to improve on," said ISU head coach Dan McCarney. "We were real poor offensively on third down in the game against Iowa. They get almost 70 yards on two carries, two of the first three carries. Obviously we improved and did some things well.


"We don't have many big plays in our offense the first two games, we need to start executing and making those plays because we don't have very many. We're capable of making more."


Another point to be improved upon is the Cyclones' kicking game.


"We got some tremendous things done in our kicking game, but the missed PATs and field goals stand out," McCarney said. "That we've got to improve on. Overall [there are] a lot of real positives to build on coming out of the first two weeks."


Help may be on the way, as Bret Culbertson has been cleared to practice and will hopefully be able to go against Army.


"I hope our missed PATs are done for the year," McCarney said. "I know we're not going to make every field goal, there's no reason with a good snapper, a good holder, and good protection we're missing PATs. We've already missed two in the two games, that's enough.


"Let's start making PATs around here, this is major college Division I football. Let's start putting them through the uprights; enough's enough."


With this weekend being open for Iowa State, they'll have a perfect opportunity to watch Army battle fellow conference foe Baylor.


Army is coming off a 44-7 road loss to Boston College last Saturday.


"[Army is] very physical, well-coached and tough," McCarney said of the Bobby Ross led Black Knights. "They went down and took the opening kickoff and went right down the field. [They] executed real good and scored the first series against Boston College, a ranked football team in the top 15 or 16."


McCarney said Army will do some things scheme-wise the Cyclones haven't seen yet this year.


"Offensively they'll trap a 3-technique, we call them wham blocks," he said. "They'll run some option, they'll run a lot of 2-back, some 1-back. Defensively they're just tough and physical. They'd made some adjustments from what their trying to do scheme-wise from a year ago, but they're better. There's no question, they're better."


Last season Army's lone home win was a 48-29 victory over Cincinnati, but McCarney said don't let that statistic fool you.


"When you study the history out there in that stadium they've won over 70 percent of their games at home," he said. "No matter who's coaching or who the visitor was; so we're going to have to be at our best."



Injury update:


As of Thursday night Jason Scales was still questionable for the Army game.


"We've got nine days," McCarney said. "He's jogging and he's running but that's not playing football. He's clearly getting better at rehabbing, but to go out and full speed football on national television it's a lot more than jogging and sprinting."

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