UNI: The Presser Report

On Monday morning, Iowa State Head Coach Dan McCarney met with members of the local media. In this week's CN presser report, McCarney talks about everything from his team's 37-14 loss to Texas last Saturday, to the Cyclones upcoming showdown with the Northern Iowa Panthers. Find out exactly what the coach had to say, right here at CycloneNation.com.

Texas MVP's


Offense: QB Bret Meyer  (2 TD's & 274 yards)

Defense: LB Tyrone McKenzie (8 tackles and a sack)

Special Teams Captain: FB Ryan Kock


Injury Note


Red-shirt freshman SS James Smith is listed as questionable for this week's game against UNI. Also, sophomore DE Travis Ferguson will be listed as questionable as well.


Mac Quote of the Day


"We're not as fast as Texas, we're not as fast as those guys," McCarney said to reporters on Monday.


Texas Afterthoughts


McCarney told the media that he knows a lot more about his team after Saturday's loss to Texas and one of those things has been a constant throughout this four game season: the kicking game has to improve.


"We still have issues in the kicking game. We're way too inconsistent which really affects field position which affects your offense which affects your defense," McCarney said.


Along with that, McCarney found a positive in his team after spotting the 7th ranked Longhorns 16 points in the first five minutes of the game, relentlessness.


"That's as good of team speed as I've coached against since I've been in this profession. They were trying to blow us off the field and not even make this a contest and our kids refused to give into that. They made it a contest and we fought back," McCarney said.


McCarney went on to say that his team is disappointed, but ready to get on with the season after two tough losses.


"I think that they're very disappointed and they're excited that we know we're still fighting for an awful lot starting this weekend," McCarney said.



Issues on the O-line?


One consistent thought throughout internet message boards since Saturday is the less than impressive showing by the Iowa State offensive line on Saturday when the Cyclones gave up 7 sacks. Even though 7 it too many, McCarney is remaining optimistic about his experience rich line.


"Saturday we gave up too many sacks but that wasn't all on the offensive line obviously. I think we're doing a lot of good things right now and I'll be very disappointed if we don't come on in the next eight games and our offensive line shows a lot of improvement to be a real strength," McCarney said.


One problem that the line had on Saturday was the four false starts that they committed. According to McCarney, the Longhorn defense had something to do with that.


"They called a defensive signal, we jumped and we can't do that. We've got to have better focus than that," McCarney explained.  "It's hard on your offensive line. You're trying to listen, there are enough people in the stands yelling and screaming at you, and then you get a defense that's trying to get lined up based off of calls."


2nd Half Scoring Woes Continue


It's no secret that the Iowa State offense has been less than impressive in the second half of games this season, a problem that McCarney has yet to figure out.


"We can't average 17,18 or 19 points a game and expect to go on and have the kind of season that we want. We've got to go on and put more points on the board starting this week," McCarney said.


McCarney blames a lot of the teams scoring problems on nobody but themselves.


"I think we've been our own worst enemy at times. When you go back and look at it, you don't have guys loafing; there aren't a lot of turnovers, not a lot of penalties. We've been our own worst enemy in certain situations. It's a block here, it's a throw here, it's a long route there, it's a drop there," McCarney said.


Learning Experience for Parker


With a little less than four minutes on the clock in the first half, freshman DE Rashawn Parker got called for a personal foul that cost the Cyclones dearly on Saturday.


"Stupidity on his part. The play was long over and in the NFL or college football, if you hit the quarterback after the ball is gone, they're going to call it," McCarney said about the play.


Though McCarney obviously wasn't happy about that play, he's still proud of what the 18 year old Parker has accomplished during his first four games.


"He's an 18 year old playing his tail off. I'm so proud of him. In that environment, I don't know how many freshmen could go into that environment and go compete his tail off which he did. It was just stupid and you know, it obviously really hurt our football team. He learned from it, I know he did and I know that he will," McCarney said.


Safeties Need to Step Up


One thing that McCarney was very blunt about on Monday was the fact that his two starting safeties need to step up, and they need to do it now. 


"They need to play better and they both know it. They need to start this week. They're solid and they need to be better than solid. There's a major drop off right now from a year ago from the safety play and where we're at right now. I have a lot of hope and good thoughts for the future but no, there is a major drop off right now from the end of last season to where we're at now," McCarney said.


Luckily for the Cyclones, help could be on the way in the form of James Smith.


"He was a starter. He has zero experience because he red-shirted last year but he was clearly our best, that's why he's our number one. Right now we're playing with at least one guy who should have been a back-up. But they're not back-ups. James could be back this week and it could be another month, I don't know. I know he's making progress," McCarney said.


Looking Ahead to UNI


Iowa State is now looking forward to a match up with the 13th ranked D1AA Northern Iowa Panthers on Saturday night at 6 p.m.


"For two weeks in a row, as you know we're playing a team that played for a national championship in 2005. Whether it's division one or 1AA, it has nothing to do with it. This is a team that won 11 games last year and played for a national championship," McCarney said.


D1AA or division one, to McCarney it just doesn't matter.


"To me, they're just another ranked team, which they are as you know. They're a tremendous team, they know what they're doing and they've got a good system," McCarney said.


McCarney was also quick to point out that UNI has had plenty of success in Jack Trice Stadium.


"They've had a lot of celebrations in our end-zone down here. We know the importance of this game. We need to get a win and we need to look good doing it."


Programming Note


It was also announced on Monday that the Nebraska game on Oct. 7 will be televised on ABC for a 7 p.m. kickoff.


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