It's exhibition season in college
football but don't tell that to Bret Meyer. The All-Big 12 candidate at
quarterback treated Saturday's spring game like a bowl game, and led the
Cardinal team to a 42-28 victory in
Meyer was 20-25 with 249 yards and one touchdown on the day.
"Bret Meyer did everything today
that he's been doing all spring. He's smart, he's accurate and he's got good
The reserves were spotted with a 21 point advantage before the game, but it didn't take the Cardinal team long to get on the board. With 8:42 to go in the 1st quarter, Meyer connected with Austin Flynn for 14 points to make the score 21-7.
Senior fullback Ryan Kock was the next Cyclone to strike with 4:44 to go in the same quarter. The big back had a powerful 10 yard run to pull the starters within seven.
The game looked like it would get out of hand early, until the White team started feeling frisky late in the 1st quarter. After a couple key catches by Houston Jones, Jason Harris converted for a one yard touchdown run with 1:35 left in the quarter.
Todd Blythe was listed as questionable going into the game but played, and connected with Meyer six times on the game. Blythe went for 109 yards and scored on a six yard pass with 10:10 to go in the second quarter. The scored topped off a eight play, 70 yard drive for the starters.
"It was good to see Todd Blythe play as much as he did. He's missed some practices lately with that injury. Fortunately it's not serious as I mentioned to you. He wouldn't have gone out and caught over 100 yards of passes if it was a serious injury. We'll get him some rest now and he'll be ready to go," said McCarney.
Meyer then decided that it was time to hurt the White's with his legs late in the first half as the quarterback ran for a three yard touchdown to tie the score at 28 heading into halftime.
Kyle Van Winkle looked good at back-up quarterback today as the fifth year senior went 13-22 on the day with 147 yards. He also threw two picks on the day.
Euseph Messiah and Marquis Hamilton looked good for their first time in front of a crowd, but young Houston Jones stole their thunder. Jones was just converted from safety to wide receiver earlier in the spring, and he made two difficult catches in the first half that got the crowd's attention. He had two catches for 53 yards on the play, so both were significant gains, his longest being 27 yards.
Offensive MVP – Bret Meyer
You can't argue with a quarterback going 20-25 with no interceptions. Meyer showed today exactly why Coach Mac has been talking him up all spring. With a line in front of him and a healthy running game, Meyer can make a run for All-Big 12.
Adam Carper made all of the fans in attendance feel just a little bit better about Matt Robertson's absence on Saturday. The sophomore out of Clarinda picked off two passes on the day and had five tackles on the day.
For the white squad, Jesse Smith and Josh Raven led the team in tackles with six a piece. The inexperienced defensive line had their work cut out for them going up against the 1's as red-shirt freshman Stephon Dale recorded only two tackles on the day.
The secondary showed their youth but were headlined by James Smith's interception in the second quarter.
"The best play in the secondary all day was James Smith's interception. That's what I want to see. I know he's a physical tackler and a really good run support defensive back. He needs to continue to see the big picture and continue to improve in coverage. I thought it was a great play, not a good play but a great play," said McCarney.
Defensive MVP – Adam Carper
It's hard not to give it to the guy with two interceptions on the day. Carper looked a lot more physical and confident than last year on the field Saturday.
"We made all of our kicks. How about that! (Laughter from reporters) We made all of our kicks! That was good to see," said McCarney.
No field goals were attempted on Saturday, but all PAT's went through the goal posts which was a sigh of relief to Cyclone fans and Dan McCarney.
There was a new face to fans at punter and Michael Brandtner looked solid for the Cyclones.
"Mike Brandtner had a couple of good punts. It was good to see him get some experience. He had a good wind blowing behind him," said McCarney.
The only injury coming out of
Saturday was due to Anthony Walker.
"If that's the case he'll have to have surgery. Hopefully he'll be back," said McCarney.
"Obviously we had some guys missing from our football team. We need to get those guys back. The guys that were there got some really good work done today," said McCarney.
McCarney went on to say that he believed all of his players would be back in the fall.
"All of the other guys who had injuries in the spring should be back with us in the fall," said McCarney.