Notes from the McCarney press conference

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

MVPs for the Oklahoma State game

Offense -
Walter Nickel
Defense – LaMarcus Hicks
Special Teams – Bret Culbertson, RJ Sumrall

Bret Meyer was also given a game ball.

Special Teams captain for Texas A&M will be DeAndre Jackson

Health update –
Stevie Hicks is available and will start if he feels as good as he did Sunday night at practice.

John Muchado will have an MRI tonight and will see if he needs surgery. He hurt his knee and it could be an ACL, but McCarney said they were hoping for good news.

Iowa State had success earlier in the season against Missouri's Brad Smith holding him to 84 total yards. McCarney said Smith and Reggie McNeal have some of the same similarities. They both have the element of speed and have real strong arms. McNeal is averaging 9 yards per carry and he has a massive offensive line in front of him.

After hearing that Smith put up 480 yards of total offense against
Nebraska last week, McCarney said he's even more impressed with how the ISU defense contained Smith.

Houston Jones will simulate McNeal in practice on the scout team. He also played the role of Smith two weeks ago.

Nose guard Nick Leaders is in a tie for second place on the Division I-A Consecutive Starting Streak with 45 straight starts. Brennan Schmidt, a defensive end from
Virginia, is No. 1 on the list with 46
consecutive starts.

Changes in the depth chart –
Stevie Hicks is No. 1 at I-Back, David Brown is the No. 2. Greg Coleman and Brown will continue to be evaluated as practice goes on this week to determine who will be the No. 2 back. McCarney said he's really excited for Brown being a
Texas kid and having an opportunity to go back home and play at Kyle Field.

DeAndre Jackson is 8th nationally in kick returns with a 30.5 yard average.

Ryan Kock has the ISU fullback record with 10 rushing touchdowns.

The ISU defense forced five OSU turnovers on Saturday and has 20 for the season. The Cyclones rush defense is averaging the best in ISU history. McCarney said defensive coordinator John Skladany does a great job with the system and it starts with the defensive line up front.

LaMarcus Hicks was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week for the second time this season. McCarney said when they moved Hicks to cornerback in the spring he thought he'd be solid but never imagined this progress.

To win on the road McCarney said the team needs maturity, leadership and good players. The coaching staff tries to keep the schedule the same on the road as it as at home. They like to keep that consistency and don't want the players to give into distractions.

When asked if McCarney and Dennis Franchione ever joke about Tony Yelk's field goal from the Independence Bowl in 2001, McCarney said "it was good we know that."

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