CN Practice Report: 4-5

The Iowa State football team was back outside on Wednesday as they hit it hard trying to correct mistakes that the coaches saw from Monday. Come find out Coach Dan McCarney's thoughts on the scrimmage right here in this CN practice report.

The Iowa State football team was once again outside on Wednesday as the weather was beautiful in Ames. The team mainly did drills but did do a situational scrimmage towards the end of practice.


Solid Practice


Dan McCarney was happy with his team's performance Wednesday during practice. Here's what the coach had to say about it.


"We got a lot of corrections made from Monday's practice/scrimmage, which we needed to. We spent a good segment of time on our punt teams, which we needed to. There isn't a phase more important than punt; it takes a lot of time. Brian Schneider is doing a really good job with that unit so we put a good three periods in on that today. We got some individual corrections. We scrimmaged with some different situations on the field with some short yardage and some long yardage. All of that stuff is really valuable," said McCarney.


Blythe Gives the Coach a Scare


There weren't any major injuries on Wednesday but All-American receiver Todd Blythe issued out a scare to everybody at the practice.


"We came out of it with no major injuries. Todd Blythe went down, you hold your breath and he's fine. He pulled a muscle. Thank God. After what he went through, you don't want anything more serious than that. He missed a block and pulled a muscle. That's what he did. That's the word from the sidelines but he's doing fine," said McCarney.


Who Looked Sharp?


"I thought that Bret Meyer was really sharp throwing the ball. The receivers caught the ball well today. I thought that our protection was better but that means our pass rush isn't as good as it needs to be. If you give number seven time back there, he's going to make some plays and he did. It was a good work day and we got some really valuable tape. We'll get in there and evaluate the heck out of it tonight," said McCarney.


The Offensive Line


With the absence of Scott Fisher and Scott Stephenson, McCarney still thought that his line looked good on Wednesday.


"Scott Fischer missed the day, he's got a sore elbow but he'll be back on Friday. With his absence Landon Streit was in there. He came in as a red-shirt freshman and looked like a one. I thought they did some good things today. Aaron Brandt is having an outstanding spring. Reggie Stephens and Tom Schmeling continue to improve on the offensive line. I'm really impressed with those guys. They're running number two right now. They're getting better and I'm proud of those kids."


DeAndre Jackson


Being one of the best players on the Cyclone defense, Coach McCarney said the he's still like to see Jackson step into more of a leadership role with his football team.


"He made more plays as a junior than Ellis (Hobbs) actually did. I'm talking about plays, not routine tackles and coverage. I'm talking about forcing and recovering fumbles, break-ups, interceptions. Statistically he had a better year but Ellis had that tremendous leadership. He could get you through tough times and get you through a tough practice and a tough game and come from behind. DeAndre is doing a lot of those things on the field as far as making plays but we want him to be a more vocal leader. He's growing. We've seen it slowly but surely," said McCarney.


James Smith at SS


James Smith and Caleb Berg have quite the battle going on for the number one SS spot but Smith has the attention of the Iowa State coaching staff with his tackling ability.


"He's one of the best tacklers on our football team, we knew that last year and we really went back and forth literally for about three weeks whether we were going to play him as a freshman or not. In the end we decided not to and now I'm really glad because he's got a chance to be a four year starter if he can beat out Caleb Berg and the rest of those guys. He just needs days like this. He's going against really good receivers. He's defending against a really good quarterback. There's no doubt in my mind that he'll come up and tackle. Everybody's going to be bigger than him but I don't think their will be a lot of people tougher than him."


Looking Ahead to Friday


The team will have a scrimmage on Saturday morning but what are the coaches going to work on for Friday?


"We're going to back off. I'm going to cut a half an hour out of practice. We're going to make a lot of corrections from tonight's scrimmage. We'll get some kicking in. We'll get them to bed. Get some rest and get ready for our big scrimmage on Saturday," said McCarney.

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