Jack Whitver played
I think you will hear
all of the coaches and players say it is the biggest game of the season because
it is the next game of the season.
It is certainly a big game for the Cyclones.
The athletic department is doing a tremendous job of getting fans excited for this game, doing everything they can to fill the stadium. It seems as though the fans are going to do their part by filling it up. It is important for the future of the program that the guys come out and play well. This is an opportunity that ISU hasn't had in awhile to go out and reach new fans and continue to build their fan base. There are a lot of people who are dying to be Cyclone fans, they have just been fooled too many times. They are ready to cheer on the Cyclones to the next level. For these reasons, it is not only important for the North race, it is important for the entire program and the future of Cyclone athletics.
The Buffaloes have lost two games, but they were
Defensively they rank in the top 20 in the nation
and they might have the second best quarterback in the Big 12 in Joel Klatt. Which of these two strengths for
I think ISU should be more worried about Joel Klatt. I think the pass
defense has really come on the last couple of weeks, but ISU has not faced a
good drop back passer in awhile. The last true passing QB they faced was Zac Taylor of
What do you think about the effort to lower ticket prices to "pack the Jack?"
I think it is tremendous. I think Pollard is doing a great job so far as athletic director and is making all of the right moves. I have a feeling that Coach Mac came up with this idea, but part of the credit has to go to Pollard. He is taking a risk of alienating fans who paid the full price, but I think this is a good move. Of the season ticket holders I have talked to (okay, it was my dad), they don't have a problem with it at all. He told me that he considers his tickets part of his contribution to ISU. He wants to see the stadium full, no matter what price the guy next to him pays.
There is nothing better
as a player than to run onto that field in front of a packed house. ISU has
traditionally not had great attendance in November. These players deserve a full
house and the seniors deserve a full house. Who cares how much the fans are
paying. The bottom line is if the Cyclones go out and perform and beat a good
In the past we've seen the Cyclones not deliver in statement games like this. Are you concerned about that happening again on Saturday night?
It is true that ISU has laid an egg in certain big games in the past. I
am not real concerned about that in this game. This team is different. They have
been breaking streaks for two years now. I know they dropped the ball against
That is a tall order for any kicker, and one that maybe
isn't fair. That is similar to asking Bret Meyer to match Michael Vick. I think
What would you like to say about your former teammate, Nick Leaders, who is playing his final home game. Is he having a first team All-Big 12 season?
Nick is one of the all-time great Cyclones. Not only is he a great player, but he signifies ISU football program. In the last 30 years, ISU has not been a program that has a lot of flashy players. We have had our Troy Davis', and Seneca Wallace's, but overall, ISU has blue collar, hard working, lightly recruited, classy, modest, over achieving players. This describes Nick to a T. He shows up every single day and plays his heart out.
It is hard to believe that Nick Leaders stepped on campus in 2001 as a 17 year-old freshman and before he had ever went to a single class, he was starting defensive tackle against a top 5 Florida State football team. It is even harder to believe that he has started every game since. That is an unbelievable feat.
The one thing I will
always remember about Nick is the ISU-Nebraska football game in 2002. Again,
Nick was a 17 year-old freshman playing
defensive tackle. He went out that day and dominated the
Coach McCarney says he's not talking about ISU's
lack of success against
I believe him. As I
mentioned a few weeks back in my preview of the rest of the schedule, ISU has
always played well against
I think traditionally we
have had a bigger mental block against K-State and
Finally, what are your keys to victory for the Cyclones on Saturday night?
Use the home field advantage. ISU has to come out and keep the fans into the game, and the fans have to stay in the game no matter what. It is going to be an electric atmosphere in Jack Trice on Saturday. Not only is the place going to be packed, but it is also a night game on national television. The team must use the energy in Jack Trice to their advantage. The fans are starting to give ISU a true home field advantage that hasn't always been there. We have seen it in Hilton for years now, hopefully we can turn Jack Trice into the same thing.
ISU must slow down the
Run the football. ISU needs to continue to run the football and the o-line will have a huge impact on this game. I truly believe that if ISU is running the football, the offense cannot be stopped. We have the receivers to make plays down the field. Between Blythe, Flynn, Davis, and the rest of the guys, I know we can pass the ball. If teams have to respect the run also, it presents a huge problem for the defenses.
This is a huge game for the Cyclones for many reasons, not only for the bowl possibilities, North championship possibilities, and everything else, but for the chance to move the program a huge step forward. There will be a lot of fans taking ISU for a test drive this weekend. Hopefully we can show up a put on a great show. It should be electric, it should be exciting, and hopefully it will also be that "signature win" everybody is waiting for.