Notes from the McCarney press conference

ISU head coach Dan McCarney met with the media Tuesday morning to discuss the Cyclones upcoming game with Army. Here are some notes from the mornings press conference.

Dan McCarney started out his press conference Tuesday morning by thanking Bruce Van De Velde for everything he's done for McCarney and the football program throughout the years. Friday will be Van De Velde's last day as ISU athletics director.

 

There were no offensive MVP's for the Army game. Both Steve Paris and Jason Berryman were defensive MVP's and special teams MVP's were DeAndre Jackson and Caleb Berg. For the second week in a row Berg will be the special teams captain.

 

The health of the team is good overall. Chris Brown broke his hand and will be out 2-3 weeks, but will not need surgery.

 

Jason Scales is still doubtful, but he's doing more and more every day.

 

Bryce Braaksma had a knee scope earlier this fall and is now practicing full-go.

 

McCarney said Nebraska is an improved team in all three areas. In the first three games this season the Husker defense has 20 sacks and is allowing only 5.3 points per game.

 

The Nebraska offense is also improved, even though they haven't been scoring so much up until now. I-back Cory Ross is leading the Big 12 in rushing and McCarney said their offensive line is better and they have more speed at wide receivers.

 

Iowa State has won 8 of their last 9 going back to last season and is starting to get an identity as a team that finds a way to win. McCarney noted that the streak encompasses two seasons and he hopes that this team understands what it takes to get the job done, since there are a lot of returning players. He also said that good teams have to find a way to win. In the fourth quarter of games this season Iowa State has out-scored their opponents 31-6.

 

A huge key to a victory in Nebraska will be to make it a four quarter game, especially at Memorial Stadium the Cyclones have gotten off to poor starts. The two last two victories against Nebraska has seen the Cyclones get off to good starts.

 

McCarney says the Nebraska defense is: physical, fast and aggressive. McCarney said the Huskers 20 sacks in three games is ‘almost unheard of.' The defense also collapses pockets on the quarterback and rallies to the ball.

 

The Huskers have been done a lot less man coverage this season and more zone. McCarney said they get good pressure without blitzing as much.

 

The head coach also said his team has grown and learned from the adversity they've faced. ‘I'm glad we faced it, but at the time it didn't feel so great," McCarney said.

 

We saw a highly-motivated, very intense team come out against Iowa, but a more subdued Cyclone squad against Illinois State and Army, so what causes these emotional stumbling blocks? McCarney said a couple things including the opponent and the Cyclones hurting themselves by making untimely turnovers, along with one phase not helping the other. An example of this would be DeAndre Jackson's kick returns and the offense not being able to capitalize on the great field position gained by the special teams unit.

 

Barney Cotton is 1-0 against his alma mater beating Nebraska 34-27 last season in his first year as the Cyclone's offensive coordinator/offensive line coach. McCarney said Cotton is the same every week no matter the opponent; he's real steady and never really high, or really low. After attending Iowa and coaching there before going to Wisconsin, McCarney knows what Cotton is feeling. He said it was a real strange feeling going back to Iowa City as a part of the Badgers team.

 

With the Nebraska offense struggling early this season, McCarney said he hopes the Huskers don't find their offensive rhythm this week.

 

The head coach also said the fullback Ryan Kock is playing better than he ever has in his career. Kock has five touchdowns in three games this season.

 

Injury-wise McCarney said there is ‘no doubt' tailback Stevie Hicks will play Saturday. Hicks' undisclosed injury has been bothering him since early in camp. Surgery won't help him heal, only rest and rehab.

 

Greg Coleman scored his first touchdown against Army last weekend, McCarney said he's real happy with Coleman but he needs to keep improving as a blocker and continue to play fast.

 

True freshman Chris Singleton will get more and more playing time as the season wears on. McCarney said he has maturity to go along with his talent, as he carries himself older than an 18 year old.


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