Dan McCarney Big 12 Teleconference

ISU head coach Dan McCarney spoke with media across the nation on Monday mornings Big 12 teleconference. McCarney discusses the availability of Stevie Hicks, Jason Scales and the Cyclones hard-fought 28-21 victory over Army.

Opening Statements…


We're every appreciative of the Big 12 for honoring Steve Paris, he had a tremendous game for us. It was a very, very, very hard fought victory at West Point. Steve had a tremendous game for us, a couple interceptions. He's got three now for us in the first three games, so he's off to a real fine start his senior year.


A very tough victory for us, Bobby Ross as everyone is aware of is a tremendous football coach and he and his staff and players are very well coached, very inspired, highly motivated and a very tough environment. We're fortunate to get out of West Point with a victory. I have great respect for their program and the young men that are playing football in the program.


Nebraska is definitely an improved football team over last year when we played them; they're 3-0. Bill Callahan you can just see he's getting more and more of his players and his style. He's had another year to develop those young men and really, really have an outstanding football team. Their blackshirts defense is relentless and you know their in the top 10 in categories nationally right now and 5.3 points per game is amazing no matter who you play. So a very big challenge, there's no doubt about it but we're looking forward to getting started with the Big 12 conference race.



On the health of Stevie Hicks and his comfort level with Hicks' backups…


I won't give out injury reports. He will be day-to-day and we hope Stevie will be ready to play. He's played in our first three games and has not been 100 percent and we're hoping that he will be by Saturday. He played 20 plays in Friday's game against Army.


Greg Coleman came off the bench and did some real good things for us. He scored his first touchdown, ran hard. He doesn't have lightening speed, tremendous speed, but he's a good, solid football player.


Ryan Kock scored two touchdowns also for us. We hope Stevie will be ready to play, he's a tremendous player. He's had a great career so far in his time at Iowa State and we hope he'll be ready to go.



On if the Army game was designed to get Iowa State ready for the environment in Lincoln


I don't know if it's designed too, but it was a very tough environment. From the minute we got there. The cadets took off their dress whites; they had their battle fatigues on. The whole place was just shaking, it was a real tough environment, there's no doubt about. The press box was shaking, the stands were moving.


They formed a tunnel to bring the Army team on the field and all the cadets were out there in their battle fatigues. The team came running out with the American flag and the Army flag and they didn't let up from the first snap to the last. They were relentless, they did a great job. I know they're very disappointed they weren't able to get the victory but that was about as an inspired of a team as I've seen in a long time.


On the evolution of ISU overcoming the Nebraska mystique…


There's no doubt its tough. It's been tough on everyone across the country through the years, for decades. As you know Memorial Stadium is one of the great places in America to play college football. I think they've got just one of the all-time great groups of fans over there. It's not been kind to Iowa State; it sure hasn't been kind to me in the time that I've been here. Beyond losing it's been almost embarrassing going over there and the way we've played or not played. We've got to do everything we can to play much better than we have in the past. We beat Nebraska two of the last three years; both of them were here in Ames obviously. But the games haven't even been competitive in Lincoln frankly when we've gone over there to play.


We'll have our hands full. I know with an extra week of preparation, Bill Callahan and his staff are tremendous coaches and they'll be ready for Iowa State and have a great plan for us and we're going to have to improve immensely from Friday nights performance at Army.



On whether he feels Iowa State is on more equal footing with Nebraska now (it's not the impossible to go over and win at Lincoln any more)…


We hope that it's not. We're sure not going to approach it that way. Hopefully there's not one player that believes that or has that in the back of their mind. But it's easier said than done because of the great tradition and the environment that's over there. Those are the kinds of games and traditions and teams and coaching staffs and environments that should bring out the best in all of us, but we know this is going to be a real major challenge.



On his tall wide receivers Jon Davis and Todd Blythe


There's no doubt we like tall receivers, athletic guys in all sizes and heights and everything. We like Jon a lot, he's got a lot of speed, and he's got great range.


Todd Blythe from Indianola, Iowa, just down the road from here, was an Iowa State-Iowa recruiting battle all the way. There were other opportunities, but he was definitely going to one of these two schools. I saw him play basketball and I was really impressed. He was up above the rim and made it look easy and I just felt like those are they types of guys we'd like to have in the program.


It's not always easy to find 6-foot-4, 6-foot-5 guys that have hands, that are athletic, that are tough, that can run routes and be complete football players, but I think those are two pretty good examples of that.



On the advantage it gives Iowa State on the field…


Everybody wants to believe that you have that, but you know the skill level and the athleticism and the jumping ability, the footwork of defensive backs and corners in college football and specifically here in the Big 12 is just tremendous. You want to believe that you can take advantage of that height advantage and hope that it's a real plus but I've seen lots of opportunities and lots of chances - both defensive backs against us and guys that I've had in our secondary through the years give away two, three, four and five inches and yet played winning football.



On the trip to New York


You can come up with excuses all day…a team that didn't play as good as it should have and the coaching staff didn't coach as well as it should have. The bottom line is we got out of there with a win and we are really glad to do that.


When you talk about the things that we didn't do, to me it just takes away from the great effort, game plan and intensity and relentlessness of the Army football team. That's the way they played and it was exactly what we anticipated but they went out and did it and we were fortunate to get out with a victory there's no doubt about.



On what he thought when the cadets ripped off their dress uniforms into the fatigues…


I didn't see it right away, but you couldn't help but notice it within time, because it wasn't like they were sitting on their hands up in the stands either. It was a combination of you're there, you want the focus of your football team, making adjustments and coaching and teaching and trying to do your best job as a head coach and yet you're in this environment that brings out a lot of patriotism too with what's going on around the world and around a lot of places that involves our servicemen.


To me when the game was over we were very thankful and appreciative to win the football game and the least we could do we thought was to go over and show respect to the cadets for the things that they might be doing and probably will be doing in the months and years ahead.



On the availability of Jason Scales


It's just day-to-day and that's as of last night when we have our Sunday night practice. I have not made a decision and we'll just see how it goes this week. It's still rehab and recovery and how much can he do. He's running and sprinting, but is he ready to start practicing football? I don't know yet and he'll be day-to-day.

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