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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
City as a part of the Badgers
Nebraska offense struggling early this
season, McCarney said he hopes the Huskers don't find their offensive rhythm
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