CN Practice Report - 3/29

The warmer weather allowed Iowa State to scrimmage outside at the Johnny Majors Practice Facility on Wednesday afternoon. Coach Dan McCarney wanted the Cyclones to raise the effort level from what he called a "sluggish" practice on Monday and they did just that.

"We were much better, much improved. A lot better effort, enthusiasm and results," said McCarney.


Leading the way was Bret Meyer, who continues to add polish to an already illustrious skill set. He connected on several big plays with Todd Blythe, RJ Sumrall and Euseph Messiah. Blythe went across the middle on a 15 yard crossing route on one instance, and the ball was delivered in rhythm for a TD right as the defense closed.


"I thought we threw and caught the ball extremely well today," said McCarney.


The veteran offensive starters were in the spotlight on Wednesday. Senior Stevie Hicks showed some great running tenacity as he busted open a few long runs. McCarney said his experienced players were a big part of the improved play.


"We've got some real capable leaders on this team. Winning is a process not an event. It's about building your courage, building your best players, building the toughness and personality of your team. And that's what spring ball is all about," said McCarney.



Defense Does It's Thing


The Cyclone defense also had their moments to shine in Wednesday's scrimmage.


"We made a lot of plays on defense today. We got in a lot of situations," said McCarney.


One player who stepped his game up was Kurtis Taylor. Taylor practiced with the first team at RUSH end, finding himself disrupting the offensive backfield on a few occasions.


"He just gets better and better. He's starting to understand you're not going to be standing around watching. This is time for you to play. He's been a good special teams player for us, but he's given us nothing on defense on game day. It's his time now and am really pleased he and (Travis) Ferguson continue to improve. They're not ready yet but they are definitely making strides. There's no doubt they will be in the thick of our defense this next year," said McCarney.


Davis Hobbled


Senior Wide Receiver Jon Davis appeared to suffer a non-contact lower leg injury after reaching for a pass. He received some assistance as he was taken in for treatment. Fellow skill players Austin Flynn and Jason Scales were withheld from contact drills.



Carper back at SAM


Adam Carper spent the day practicing with the 2's at the SAM backer. Linebackers Tyrone McKenzie and Alvin Bowen appear to have solidified their starting spots.


"We're definitely not where we need to be yet, but we took some strides from Monday's practice," said McCarney.


The next spring practice is Friday. CN will be there.

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