The Presser Report: Nebraska Week

As he does each and every Monday morning, Dan McCarney met with members of the local media on Monday. In this CN presser report, get quotes from the coach and see what he had to say about everything from Nebraska to the depth chart changes on defense. Find it all right here at CN.

Quote of the Day


"I'm sorry that I'm running a little bit late. I just got off the Big 12 teleconference and Leach (Mike) started talking about the Irish mafia. (laughter) We're all running late right now," McCarney said as he opened his press conference on Monday.


Depth Chart Notes


Red-Shirt freshman Steve Johnson will get the start at FS this Saturday against Nebraska. Johnson will get the starting nod over sophomore Jason Harris who will be his backup.


"It was strictly performance related. We're not getting good enough play at safety right now and we're going to give Steve Johnson his first chance to start," McCarney said. "We missed far too many tackles and that's a position at safety whether you're free or strong, you've got to be a real good consistent, solid tackler. That's the reason we made that move."


That means that junior Jon Banks is now moving to the backup SLB slot behind sophomore Adam Carper.


"We've given him some work there before. We'll see if we can strengthen our defense and do a better job. Our fundamentals aren't nearly as good as they need to be defensively," McCarney said.


Junior Ahtyba Rubin will now be listed as the starting NG over freshman Nate Frere. Expect both to see a lot of playing time on Saturday.


In a special teams change, Bret Culbertson will now be handling the kickoff duties instead of Josh Griebahn who has been demoted to number two.




Offense – QB Bret Meyer and WR Jon Davis

Defense – No MVP's were giving on defense

Special Teams – Bret Culbertson


Ryan Baum was also named the Big 12 special team's player of the week.


Health Update


Coach McCarney told the media that James Smith would not be available this weekend against Nebraska. According to McCarney, Smith had his knee scoped last week due to scar tissue.


"He did get scoped last week. After he started running and sprinting and cutting, there was still some pain in there. So they went in and removed some scar tissue. He will not be available this week and it's day to day, week to week after this week. Hopefully we'll have a chance to get him back next week," McCarney said on Monday morning.


In addition to Smith's health issues, Coach McCarney commented on the condition of offensive coordinator Barney Cotton, who apparently is fighting a kidney stone.


"Barney Cotton is down in Des Moines right now getting a kidney stone blasted," McCarney said. "There's an update on the coaching staff."


An Improved Husker Offense


One of the big things that McCarney hit on Monday about Nebraska's offensive attack was the improvement of the Husker's running game. Nebraska will enter Saturday's game as the 5th ranked total offense in college football.


"The scary thing is that they're so much better running the ball this year. I see four backs that could play for just about anybody in our league," McCarney said. "They can bloody your nose playing really physical and running the ball along with having a great college QB and play makers at WR."


The ability to run the football is what makes Nebraska's west coast offense so dangerous according to McCarney.


"They really upgraded the speed of their offense," McCarney said. "When you can run the ball like they can right now, it can really cause a lot of problems."


The Carriker Factor


When playing Nebraska, one inevitable is that senior defensive end Adam Carriker will probably be in your backfield before the game is over. McCarney is preparing for that accordingly.


"He'll have a long NFL career. We had tremendous respect for him a year ago," McCarney said. "He reminds me a lot of Grant Winstrom who we played against and coached against. He's had a great NFL career and I'm sure Carriker will do the same thing."


Last year as a junior, Carriker accounted for 9.5 sacks on the season and 17 tackles for a loss and was first-team All-Big 12.


Beating Nebraska...It's Still Means a Lot


Is Nebraska back? That's been one of the biggest questions surrounding the entire Big 12 conference all season long and up to now, the Big Red haven't really proven that they are with wins over Louisiana Tech, Nicholls State, Troy and Kansas. But according to McCarney, it's still a huge deal for a program to knock off Nebraska.

"Anytime that you can beat a team that is respected by everyone in the country and had such great success for years and years and years, anytime that you get a chance to beat Nebraska it's a statement game for your program," McCarney said.


The Team's Confidence


Iowa State is 3-2 right now, and realistically, that's where most expected them to be heading into this weeks Big 12 North showdown. But the way Iowa State has won its three games, makes fans wonder how the team's confidence is. McCarney thinks they guys are going alright.


"Being around them yesterday, they know that they are capable of playing better. We've got to play better and yet, we've still found ways to win games. When you're down a couple of touchdowns like that, you still have got to have something pretty special about your team to come back and win against a really motivated Northern Iowa team," McCarney said.


The bottom line is that the Cyclones still have a lot to play for.


"Our kids I think understand that we still have a lot to play for. There are all kinds of opportunities and rewards out there starting with Nebraska this week."






AllCyclones Top Stories