McCarney Talks Spring Game

Dan McCarney met with the media on Tuesday morning to talk about the upcoming Spring Game and to discuss how practices have been going so far. CN was there to cover it. Check out what Coach Mac had to say right here at CN.

Depth Chart Changes


Bryce Braaksma is now listed as the starting NG while Stephon Dale has been moved to the back-up DT position behind Brent Curvey.


Caleb Berg is now the back-up FS as well as the back-up SS.


Three Players Gone


Coach McCarney confirmed that Brice Beck, A.J. Haase and Jason McGinty have indeed left the program.




Coach McCarney said that Todd Blythe is questionable for Saturday's spring game. He said that Blythe has a bruised knee but it's not the same one that he had surgery on last season. McCarney said that it's nothing serious and that there's no point in throwing Blythe out there on Saturday if he's not 100%.


Ryan Baum will not participate in Saturday's spring game although he has been practicing this spring.


Seth Zehr is out for the rest of the spring with a broken hand. McCarney said the injury was a freak deal as he broke it during one on one drills during practice.


Players Not Participating in Spring Game Due to Injury


Jon Davis, Scott Stephenson, Seth Zehr, Ryan Baum, Jordan Goos, John Machado, Milan Moses, Joe Conklin, Eric Schultz, Jason Scales. Nick Frere is questionable.


Spring Game Notes


Special Teams coach Brian Schneider will be coaching the 1's and 4's on Saturday as Outside Linebackers coach Shawn Sims will take the 2's and 3's.


The starters will once again start the game with a 21 point advantage. The game will feature 12 minute quarters and Coach McCarney will decide during the 15 minute halftime what will happen in the second half.


"I think the fans will see a team that plays the game with a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of intensity. You want at team that will compete like crazy about anything and everything and we try to fit that in with our winter workouts and our spring practices. They have done that. It's been very competitive," said McCarney.


Special Teams


Michael Brandtner has solidified his spot as the starting punter for next season according to McCarney on Tuesday.


"Saturday will be good for him because there will be some people in the stands. I want him to step out there whether we're rushing eight or one or none, I want him to look like a Big 12 starting punter," said McCarney.


Bret Culbertson will be the starting kicker as the back-up position is still up for grabs due to inconstancy from the other guys.




McCarney said that it's been very hard to judge his offense this spring with so many important pieces missing from the line-up. The absences of Scott Stephenson and Seth Zehr on the line have been huge. Blythe and Jon Davis have been out for some time as well.


"Anytime you have guys out of the lineup, that makes you really nervous because you don't get a true test or evaluation. You're pulling some really good players out of that lineup so to say that here's my evaluation of our number one offense coming out of Saturday's scrimmage, it's hard to be really accurate when some of your most important pieces aren't even there," said McCarney.


McCarney said that Austin Flynn and Ryan Kock have had great springs


McCarney said that All-Big 12 Center Scott Stephenson's recovery to his recent should injury is going well. McCarney said that Stephenson is ahead of schedule with his rehab.


McCarney said that he would be surprised and disappointed if this offense is not one of the best that he's ever had at Iowa State but he needs to get all of his guys back and healthy.




McCarney said that James Smith is still his starting SS. He then went on to talk about how Smith was going to be a very special player at Iowa State.


"Everybody thought that he was too short except me and my defensive coaches. Watch his career. It will be special. He's going to be something," said McCarney.


McCarney said that Kurtis Taylor has solidified his starting slot at DE. McCarney then went on to say that he would be surprised if anybody other than Taylor started at that position next fall, including the guys coming in this fall.


"Kurtis Taylor has really stepped up and will be way beyond a special teams player for us," said McCarney.


When asked about Collins Eboh, McCarney said that Eboh is up to over 250 pounds. McCarney said that he's more concerned about Eboh's attitude than ability because he knows that Eboh can play. McCarney then said that he is confident that Eboh will have a successful career at Iowa State.


McCarney said that Bryce Braaksma has taken huge steps this spring.


"Our defense, from top to bottom won our scrimmage out here on Saturday. Obviously some of our important players on offense weren't there, but when I go through as a head coach and evaluate, the defense didn't win everything but they won that scrimmage," said McCarney.


McCarney went on to say that the defense is coming together much faster than he anticipated.


"You can see by looking at the depth chart that there are really some kids who are starting to step up. I'm starting to see some real personality with our defense. They're going to take on their own identity. The baton has been passed from all of those guys last year being the best in the Big 12 at takeaways," said McCarney.


Newcomers in the Fall


"The door is going to be wide open for some of those number two spots with the newcomers coming in. With as large of a class as we signed, I'd be very disappointed if some of those newcomers don't come in and challenge for at least a backup spot on this football team. If they're good enough to start, great. We'll make a lot of people look silly who said that this wasn't a good class. I think it's a heck of a class," said McCarney.

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