Iowa State takes on Army, along with its history

There's a certain aura surrounding the Army football program. First there's the history with three national championships in the mid-1940's and three Heisman Trophy winners. Then there's the patriotism, over 4,000 cadets will be in attendance at Friday nights Iowa State-Army game.

"I think especially with the things that are going on overseas and with Katrina just the patriotism that we expect to be shown out there is going to be really neat," said senior Tony Yelk. "There's no question we want to go play and win the game, but our hats will all be off to everyone in that stadium for their efforts in protecting our country."


The Army game will be the first of five games away from Jack Trice Stadium for the Cyclones. Yelk, a sixth year senior, has played in a lot of different atmospheres during his ISU career and said he had expressed some of his experiences to some of the underclassmen on the team.


"I talked a little bit to some of the younger guys just about the traveling and stuff," Yelk said. "Really we have a fairly veteran team even though it's a young team. I think everybody has a pretty good idea of what lies ahead, but every away game has a little different twist, a little different environment."


ISU wideout Todd Blythe said just playing on Friday night would be different for the Cyclones.  Then there's also the time-zone change and just the West Point atmosphere alone.


"You just have to remember that once you step in between the white lines it's a football game," Blythe said. "Again obviously their guys are willing to go out and die for their country so you have to give them great respect and I think all of us on this team do. At the same time we got to remember when they're in between the white lines they're still football players just like us."


Another concern is a hang-over from the Iowa game, but Yelk said that shouldn't be an issue.


"There's always a chance, but I wouldn't say I'm worried about it," he said. "I think the coaches have done a nice job of keeping us focused. Mac talks about having a 24-hour celebration and I think the guys really do adhere to that.


"I always say we have 11 one week seasons and I really think that's the way we approach it. That's the feel and the perception I get, but I guess I'm not in each individual players' heads. Overall I think we have a good sense of urgency and just want to get out there and play after the bye week."


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