Ok Cyclone fans, you can breathe now. Your Cyclones finally got an overtime victory, and they did it in an entertaining fashion Thursday night in a packed Jack Trice Stadium. After Todd Blythe's two overtime touchdowns, including ESPN's number one play of the day the Clones came through with a 45-43 victory over the MAC's Toledo Rockets.
After the game, a jubilant Dan McCarney talked to the media. Here's a taste of what the coach had to say.
The OT Curse is Dead
Entering tonight's game,
"We've had opportunities and we've had our guts torn out in overtimes. It's really good to win one," McCarney said after the game.
Blythe: Get Him the Ball
Todd Blythe had two touchdowns in overtime and only three catches in regulation. Blythe let McCarney hear about it on the sidelines and the coach agreed.
"We would have liked to have gotten the ball to him. Come overtime and when the game was on the line, I think he was one of the best receivers in college football," McCarney said. "He's a special talent. He and I had a couple of talks on the sideline and he was very strong to me about getting him the ball and I said ‘you have no argument from me. We're going to get you the ball.'
Quote of the Day
"I hope and pray that we can be one of the most improved teams in the country between now and UNLV." – Dan McCarney after the game
Special Teams Inconsistencies
"I thought Bret Culbertson was outstanding. That high snap had nothing to do with him; he made all of his other kicks," McCarney said after the game.
Though Culbertson was perfect on the day, McCarney still sees some room for improvement in the special teams as a unit.
"Really inconsistent," McCarney said of his special teams. "Some really good plays and lots of things that we need to work on."
Stout Running Game
Bret Meyer ran for 70 yards and three touchdowns on Thursday night. That's not something that Clone fans have seen a lot of over the past two years. So was all of the running planned?
"It was in the game plan, definitely," McCarney said. "It won't be 25 times a game but we want to do it because he has some talent running the football."
Meyer wasn't the only Cyclone getting it done on the ground. Senior running back Stevie Hicks ran for 89 yards with a touchdown and McCarney was proud of his healthy running back.
"I thought he ran hard. It's good to get a game under his belt. You don't get as many opportunities now with that clock, you really don't. I thought he was efficient and I thought he ran hard."
"He's special. I'm so proud of him and Nate Frere. All of those guys played for the first time against a real quality opponent. They found a way to win. The first time they put on a Cyclone uniform to play, they go three overtimes and find a way to win."
McCarney saw plenty of mental errors Thursday night, but he's not throwing them on his players.
"We've got to do a better job of
coaching the mental errors. I don't buy it and I'm not putting it on the kids.
We have to do a better job and I have to do a better job of teaching. There were
too many of those tonight and it really hurt us."