CN Quick Cuts: Oklahoma

There aren't two more honest or stand up guys on the Cyclone football team than Scott Stephenson and Todd Blythe. They are two leaders of this underachieving offense and weren't shy in expressing their feelings on the lack of production. Find out in this extended edition of CN Quick Cuts, what these two competitive and fiery players had to say.



It starts with the RUN.


We definitely need to start fast so we can run the ball in the second half. Lately, we've been real one dimensional, and in the Big 12 you have to be able to run the ball to win.


It's a problem with everybody. O-line, receivers, running backs, quarterbacks making the right call. It comes down to everyone; you can't put it on one single position. I know as receivers we need to keep doing better and improving in the running game. We've done some good things at times, but blocking is something we can continue to improve and help the running backs get extra yards downfield.


We're BETTER than this.


We've been playing some real good teams and some great defenses. But at the same time when we go out there I don't feel like it is a big mismatch, that there overpowering us or that they are man for man better than us. I know what kind of people we have on this offense, and I know what kind of players we have. I don't think that if you talk to anybody on our team that they will say that their defense was that much better than our offense. There are times where we won't match up man to man with everybody, but I definitely think we have enough good match-ups and enough good players that we should be able to move the ball on anybody.


Frustration Setting IN.


It makes it very frustrating because we have guys that have been around the Big 12 for awhile. Everyone on our offense has played a lot of football, a lot of winning football. To come out and start this year like we have in the first half and struggle like we have is very frustrating.


DEFENSE doing It's Part.


It is very encouraging. Something we talked about on Sunday with Coach Cotton is the defense is doing their part. Their stepping up and played extremely well in the 2nd half to hold Nebraska to one touchdown, which was kind of a garbage touchdown. They are really stepping up and it's time for us as an offense to step up. We haven't played our best game. We've had spurts and showed signs that we can be a real good offense but we haven't put it all together yet. We've been close and when we do I feel like we can be a real good team.




We are close. When we look at the film, it is one thing here or one thing there. It's not a collective group of guys or everybody messing up on the same play. It's just a matter of getting all eleven guys to do the right thing on the right play. And do their job every time. But it's not just one position or one player. Coach Cotton has stressed it all along and we have to focus on this comes down to concentration and taking care of our mental assignments. We are all capable of doing things physically. It's a matter of locking in mentally on every play.




It's O-line protecting, receivers getting open on time, it's Bret being able to step up and trust the guys in front of him. That's something we all have to take care of as an offense. A lot of is, if we don't get open at the right time, or we take longer on our route, or we don't run it at the right depth, he has to take off. We had too many plays last Saturday where he dropped back to pass and ended up running the ball and getting hit. He's taking too many shots this year.


On certain plays we have read routes. We have one guy on every route that is the hot man. So if somebody blitzes, he should be available behind their blitz. It's a matter of picking it up and giving Bret time.




We've had unbelievable crowds. The atmosphere has been unreal. Mr. Pollard is doing a great job of getting people out to Jack Trice. I hope they keep coming. We have to put a better show on the field.




No, I don't think we are. They come out to see good football and winning football. We've had some wins out here, but they've been ugly and we didn't win last Saturday. So, I think our fans definitely deserve better.




It's absolutely an important game for us. We have to come out and we have to play well. We really need a win here. We don't want to start 0-3 in the Big 12. It would be huge to go down there to get a win. That's something we are capable of and have the players to do it. We have to go down and execute and do it this time.


We've been in this position the last two years. We know that we can make a run, we have in the past. And we think we will. We know we have the guys, we have the personnel, we have the talent to do it. I think everyone fully expects to make a run here.





I didn't have a great game. A lot of my teammates didn't either. This game against Oklahoma…we have to have a good game. Having a good game against them would ensure better success down the road.


How ‘BOUT that run game?


We've done pretty well. You don't see that with the rushing stats, but these teams that we played jump out early against us and we have to throw the ball to play catch-up.


Individual Issues.


It's most of the time individuals that mess up. For the most part the line is doing pretty well run blocking. You have guys sometimes that aren't on the same page as the other guys and it's because of that that we have losses in the run game.


We are just as BIG as them.


There is no physical miss match. It's just going out and executing as a team that has been our problem. It's more of a consistency issue.


The coaches and the players, we emphasize to each other the importance of the running game and how important it is to effectively block a person. As an individual and as a unit.


It's NOT as bad as it looks.


We know that we are better than what you guys see. This is the same offense that we had last year minus Kory Pence, and to come out there and struggle at the beginning or end of games is very frustrating for everyone on this team. Because we are better than this and we can have a great offense.


I don't think there needs to be any changes, I think we are doing better in protection this year than we did last year. When Bret's been sacked, it's been when he is slipped. Nothing as far as a protection issue. Against Texas, they just brought too many guys than we could block, that's the problem we're looking to address. As far as personnel we're doing fine. We have to ratchet up the small things.


BLITZED to death.


We either have to pick it up or Bret has to audible out of it. The QB makes all of the calls back there and he has to see along with the rest of the line that there may be a potential problem on this play.




Most teams right now in the Big 12 they are either 1-1 or 2-0. With us being 0-2 it's extremely important for us to lock it up and play a lot better if we want to make it to Kansas City.  


LET me bust some heads.


I love running the ball. Running the ball is old-fashioned, it's more of a go get em type of play. To physically dominate the man across from you is a great feeling. And to run the ball effectively, you have to do that. It's something that we've been missing.


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