Mac on the Saturday Scrimmage

Iowa State held a 90 play scrimmage this morning. Find out from Coach Mac, which Cyclone linebacker made the biggest play, which newcomers are going to see the field, and Austen Arnaud's development in this post-scrimmage Q&A.

How was the scrimmage?


I thought it was real productive day, we got a lot done. We had almost a 90 play scrimmage, that didn't include live punts and PAT field goals. No major injuries, just some minor things, which is a real good sign coming out of the last 10 days when we lost a couple guys. I was impressed with the way these kids came to work.  We're 10, 11 days into camp, everybody's sore. We had 99 of the 105 kids that scrimmaged. So, we're getting a lot of work done and we're making progress.


What was the process of the scrimmage and who were players that stood out?


Most of it was 1's vs. 1's; 2's vs. 2's; 3's vs. 3's. We start the scrimmage 1's against 2's to get the 1's off to a good start. But other than that it was the best against the best. I continue to be impressed with some of the newcomers. I said earlier it would be 6-10 (newcomers that play) I still think that's real realistic. But we have another week of camp before we make those final decisions, who plays and who doesn't. But the two defensive lineman I mentioned before, Frere and Parker, are really doing a lot of good things. Fred Garrin we're definitely going to play him this year. Josh Johnson continues to really impress all of us. There's no doubt he will play this year. He really had a good day today.


Austen Arnaud is one of the best freshman quarterbacks I've been around. Wheteher we play him or not this year, I don't know. He's not going to beat out Bret Meyer, but we have to make a decision as time goes on, because he is one of the most talented freshman I've been around. Because he was an early commitment from Ames, Iowa, there weren't many stars behind his name. But that is one of the best freshman quarterbacks I've been around in college football. He is really special. Iowa State fans are going to be real lucky to have Bret around for two more years, and Austen for four.


What is Arnaud's place on the depth chart?


He's a 3, but right now we're rolling him and Van Winkle both with 2's and 3's. We're trying to find out if he can beat him out. I don't want to blow a year, it's a decision I have to make as a head coach as we go on talking to Barney (Cotton) and Todd (Fitch). Do we want to blow a year just as a relief role? Or being ready to go in case Bret gets hurt? If something were to happen to Bret Meyer he is definitely playing. He may end up being our next best quarterback. But if Bret were to stay healthy throughout the year, you hate to take a possible four-year starter on the field just to take a few snaps. He's really going to be something. I love him.


Any Highlights from scrimmage?


Bowen had a big interception for a TD in the 2-minute drill, an outstanding play. Mike Brandtner continues to really, really impress me. He hasn't done it under the lights yet. We have a new snapper in Purvis and a new punter in Brandtner and both of them have answered the call. We really tried to establish our running game today, we ran the ball more than we threw it. We know we have the pieces in place to throw and catch, but we want to get the running game going. It was a good competitive day and I'm anxious to watch the tape.


What do you see in Josh Johnson?


He's got a low center of gravity, he runs through tackles, he's been a tremendous ball security back so far. He's real coachable. He's got the juice you're looking for at running back, he really does. I'm very impressed with he and Mitchell Moore both. Alexander Robinson didn't scrimmage, nothing major, just a pulled muscle and he will be back next week. Josh is a guy that really made a move today. No doubt about it.


Any Position battles in the O-line?


There's real good competition going on in there. Reggie Stephens, Lee Tibbs, and Schmelling are all really improving and they're putting some heat on. We're going to grade the film and see if there are any adjustments in the depth chart.


How did the #1 defense perform?


It was give and take, but there were some positive things with our defense. The linebackers all can run, the secondary is really coming on. With James out those guys are all doing some good things. We're not where we want to be yet. But we got into a lot of game situations, which is good for the players and the coaches.


Information available on Eboh and Rubin?


No there isn't. As soon as we find out if either of them or both of them make it or don't make it, we'll let you know. They are still taking classes as we speak, trying to finish their academic obligations.


On Baum's switch?


He was with the 2's. The kid is a football player, he's got instinct, awareness and toughness. We kept (Secondary Coach) Chris Ash back deep to keep an eye on him. He's only had two days out there, but he's got savvy and he'll play. I'm almost positive that's a permanent move and we're going to leave him back at safety.


How is the team handling injuries?


The good news is neither of them are out for the season, that always gives you some hope. Jason is back on a bicycle, he's in the swim-ex, so he's already using that knee. James will take more time but we're shooting for the Big 12 season to get him back. Early in the Big 12 season is very realistic. When Tom Greenwald, one of our orthopedic surgeons, says everything went great in that surgery with the two screws they put in there, I've got a lot of faith in Tom that James will be back. It's disappointing but not season ending.


Jon Davis back for the opener?


We don't know about the Toledo game yet. He was one of the six guys that didn't scrimmage. There isn't any new injury, we're just being real smart and careful. But he's doing team work, individual, 7 on 7, more and more work every day. Everyday he is getting better.     

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