Football Quotebook: Kansas

Coach Dan McCarney and several Iowa State football players addressed the assembled media on the subject of the Big 12 opener against Kansas. And Cyclone Nation was there.

Dan McCarney's opening comments

"We're looking forward to kicking off the Big 12 Conference race and Big 12 season. It's only the Big 12 matchup this week. We're thankful to have Fox Television coming to Ames and getting some more national exposure for the program."

"If we're going to have a great season or memorable season or the kind of season that we all want here at Iowa State, we've got to take care of business. We'll get that first opportunity this week. Five out of our next six games are in Ames, so we really want to get off to a great start."

"I want to thank our fans again for the unbelievable environment we had down in Kansas City. We need that atmosphere this week for the Kansas game. Their enthusiasm, support and intensity of the crowd were amazing. We're sure hoping that we can have that at Jack Trice Stadium this week."

"All of you can see Jack Trice Stadium has a real new facelift to it. We're looking forward to having a great environment here on Saturday night. We're thankful to all of the people that helped us build the new facelifts to it."

"MVPs from the Florida State game were Atif Austin on defense, Seneca Wallace on offense and Eric Schmitz on special teams. All of you know about Austin and Wallace. Schmitz beat out Matt Bockes as our deep snapper. We were a little nervous going into the game, because he had done a great job in practice, but never been on a college game field before. The snaps were outstanding and accurate. The speed was great. And he went down and had one of the best hits all night long when he tackled a guy on the punt cover team."

"Special teams captain this week will be Lane Danielsen. He's been on three special teams so far to start the season. He's one of our better special teams players that we have, along with being an outstanding wide receiver."

On injuries against Florida State:

"The only real injury that came out of the game was Anthony Forrest, who only played six snaps. It was a hip pointer. He's fine and will practice today. It was a classic example of what we talk to our players about all the time. If you're a number two, you'd better have your rear-end ready to play. JaMaine Billups played 66 snaps in the game and was ready to play. He did an excellent job."

on depth chart changes:

"There weren't a lot of changes in the two-deep. Rutland will start at tailback and Wagner will play. Hiawatha was the better back on Saturday night. He got some great physical yards for us in that comeback and he deserves to start. Both of them will play."

"Lance Young will start back there at kickoff returns. It's not just because Jamaul fumbled, but when Lance got the opportunity he made the most of it. He had the longest return that we've had in a while, 51 yards."

On preparations for new Kansas regime:

"It's an unsettling feeling, because we know nothing about what we anticipate seeing out here. It's tough when you haven't seen a game, they haven't played a game and you have no idea about schemes or what they want to emphasize. You just have no idea. All we know is a lot about their personnel, just like they know about our personnel because the coaches that were in each other's programs the last year."

"They know a lot about us. They've had the TV tape and watched the game. Because of the Big 12 rule, we sent them a game. They've got all of that on us. They see our problems, weaknesses, strengths, personnel and the guys they want to go after. We have absolutely nothing on them. That's a major advantage and concern for me as a head coach."

"Their coaches are from Iowa State, Oklahoma, the NFL, Kansas from last year and different places. We just don't really know. We're going to have to do a great job making adjustments early in this game, based on what we see. But that's what we're paid to do. I expect that from my staff."

"They've got a lot of fine players. We know that. Terry has given us great insight into a lot of those players. It was the same team that was leading Colorado in the fourth quarter last year in Boulder, the same team that beat Texas Tech and put up 34 points on them. It was the same team that lost a real heartbreaker to Missouri, 34-31."

"They've got plenty of players and good talent. That's not a place where the cupboard was bare. I'm very well aware of that. The score nine months ago really has nothing to do with this game. Their heart was cut out of them by the time we played them. There was not a lot to play for. It will be a much different football game that we play this Saturday."

on fear of letdown on Saturday:

"None whatsoever. The Big 12 Conference race and a Big 12 home game, I'm going to make sure that we don't have any kind of letdown. We just can't afford it. We'll get beat this week and every week if there is any kind of letdown. You've got to have the same kind of effort, tempo, heart and courage that we showed Saturday night every time we line up. We're not good enough, talented enough and deep enough to play any other style of football."

"I was proud of them yesterday. I think they're real focused. I was proud of them yesterday. The last thing we're going to do is keep talking about Florida State. That's what Mark Mangino wants, is for us to talk about Florida State and what could have happened all week long. I'm not going to let it happen. We're talking about Kansas. If there is a positive that comes out of the game and I want to refer to it or talk to my players about it, great. But going back and reliving that game is the last thing I'm going to let these kids do."

"I thought their focus was strong after I got through talking to them yesterday. They know the importance of this game, the Big 12 race and how big a game this is for us. We've got to do a great job in preparation this week."

on what the staff took out of FSU game:

"You learn a lot about the resolve of a team, the character, courage and heart. You get down 24-0 and 31-7 against a top-three team in the country and we come back and outscore them 31-14. We won the fourth quarter, no question. More than anything else you really find out about the resolve and resiliency of a team. I'm real proud of that."

"We made a lot of mistakes and that's what coaching is all about. We've got to correct those things. I was really proud of how hard they competed against an outstanding team."

on play of newcomers and first-time starters in season-opener:

"They all did a solid job. There were no All-Big 12 performances out there, but anybody that hit the field for the first time did a solid job. Three offensive linemen started for the first time, but the two newcomers were solid for us. They've got to improve a lot this week and play much better. Kyle Knock, a new starter, did an excellent job. Hiawatha Rutland and Mike Wagner did a real solid job. Both have played a lot of football around here."

"Defensively, Nick Leaders did a real nice job in there playing against a veteran, top-five team in the country's offensive line. But he's got to improve and step it up this week. I was real impressed with JaMaine Billups, because he's been at that position less than three weeks. He stepped in and played the entire game and did a solid job."

"I was just proud of the way those kids rallied, hung together and fought. We have to step it up and play better this week. Everybody talks about the improvement from game one to game two. We've got to make that happen Tuesday through Friday."

on playing Kansas so early in season:

"I'm all for it and was all for it when we were approached on it. When this thing was all worked out, it was the same A.D. at Kansas. We worked this out a long time ago. I have no problem with it. Frankly, whatever happens on Saturday night I'm glad we're coming right back with a Big 12 game this week."

on being overwhelming favorites one week after being big-time underdogs:

"I don't even get into it. I never mentioned it once with Florida State and am not going to mention it this week before Kansas. They can read about it and here about it. Their heads aren't in sand. All I'm concerned about is this team getting better and improving. We set a lot of real aggressive goals before this season started. We missed out on one Saturday night. If we're going to have the kind of season we all want, we have got to keep improving."

on play of new-look offensive line:

"I was real proud of them overall. With 443 total yards, 23 first downs and I think we were 12-of-19 on third and fourth down conversions. That's unbelievable against that kind of opponent and defense. As a unit we played better in our first game as an offensive line than I thought we could have. We've got a long ways to go as a unit."

"But to protect as well as we did and put up those kind of numbers against that kind of opponent, I would have been surprised if we had put that up against a bad opponent much less one of the tops in the country. As a unit I'm very pleased with the progress and productivity, but as a coach you go back to the opportunities we had to win that game and some of the mistakes we've got to clean up. I'm still concerned with our offensive line and the depth. We've got to play better this week. If we do that then we've got a real good chance to win the game."

on getting same environment this weekend as one in Kansas City:

"We're anticipating a great crowd. In the history of Iowa State football, why in the name of God would you not want to come out and watch this team play? If you don't want to come out now, I don't know if you're ever going to come out this stadium. We saw one of the greatest examples of fan support since I've been in college football down in Kansas City. Why not do it here at this place? We'll do our part and want our fans to do their part."

on players in Kansas program:

"There are a lot of good ones. Terry has done a real good job of giving us some real insight to those guys. A lot of these kids we played against last year. Justin Sands is an outstanding offensive tackle. Gasaway can fly at wide receiver. We are very wary of Mills. He's got great feet and some of the J.J. Moses to him with foot speed and quickness and change of direction."

"We have tremendous respect for Reggie Duncan. We watched that Texas Tech game last year. He was an outstanding back. Dyer played in our game last year and we know a lot about him. Those linebackers are all good players."

"We know a lot about their personnel, but what we don't know is where they're going to line up. That's a strong advantage that Kansas has right now."

on true freshman defensive lineman Nick Leaders:

"He definitely had an impact. I'm real proud of him. He had the same look in his eye out there Saturday against Florida State on national television as he did when he was in our high school camp two summers ago. He's got the workman-like attitude, a great look of focus and loves playing the game. He never gets too high or too low. He's special. He's going to play a lot of football this year."

"I've never been around too many freshmen that could go out there and play as many snaps as he did in his first game and hold up in there. He was solid and did some real good things. He didn't make a whole lot of plays, but sometimes at that position it's not making plays as making darn sure that our defense operates and giving other people opportunities to make plays."

on advantage/disadvantage of both Kansas and Iowa State having former coaches at the other program:

"It's a push all the way. There sure isn't any advantage to us. Nick knows a lot and has been with me four years. He knows our guys inside and out, and our strengths and weaknesses. Terry knows a lot about their guys, although they have some junior college guys that came in after he did. It always helps when you get some insight about players, how they react and what they really did under the lights and under the gun."

on what staff thinks it will see from KU offense:

"We figure it will be a pretty good combination of Iowa State and Oklahoma. Q is coordinating down there and Mark the head coach came from Oklahoma and Kansas State. We fully anticipate seeing some offense from both of those. That's what the out of season is about. Mark's been there nine months and has had a lot of time to get ready for us. We've had Florida State and then Kansas to get ready for."

"Mark's an excellent coach. Everywhere he's been he's won. He's had a lot to do with the success at Kansas State and Oklahoma, just like Nick had a lot to do with ours at Iowa State."

final thoughts on next-to-last play of Saturday's game:

"No question he scored a touchdown. But it's not going to do any good. There aren't any appeals or anything else. It's very clear his foot's in the green. He never touched the white border of the sideline. The ball went across the goal-line, it's a touchdown. Period, end of story."

on having instant replay in future:

"I don't want to get into that. We all look for consistency from officials. I know it's a tough job. Overall, I thought it was officiated well. It was a Big 10 crew and they did a good job overall. But that's one they missed."

on Rutland and Wagner:

"They're both good backs and we trust both of them. You'll see more of them on the field at the same time as the season goes on. We like them both. Hiawatha just got a lot of physical yards in that game. That's what we've been used to since Troy Davis. You're going to have to do that. You can't make it easy for people to get you down. He showed a great burst on the one we knocked in from 30-some yards out. It was blocked well."

"One of these days hopefully we'll get the chance to see Brian Thompson, too, because we like him as a back. But he's definitely three."

on outlook at place-kicker:

"We'll use them both again. We'll continue to evaluate. It was nice to see Benike. I think he was 5-for-5 with PATs and the field goal that he it. It's the first time he's ever been on a game field. I'm proud of him for that. If he does a good job in practice this week, he'll be our PAT guy and probably kick shorter field goals. Yelk will do the longer-range field goals, but he's got to get the ball up and quicker."

on stadium facilities improving throughout his tenure:

"No question it is. I get here the first year and they got the hot tub in here the year before. Then they got a parking lot and there are tents. Then there are some high school bleachers out there. Whatever's been in here has been pathetic, just from the end of the end zone. It finally looks like a classy Big 12, big-time stadium, thanks to our fans and the planning of Bruce Van De Velde."

"It's part of the home-field atmosphere, this is our house. It's a special place that we've built. We're 8-4 at home the past two years. It's not sensation, but it beats the heck out of what it's been other years. We're trying to build on that and make this a real great place for us and tough place for the opponent."

feelings on team losing on questionable calls in last two games:

"We've got to be good enough to overcome those calls. We've got to make the plays before it comes down to a controversial call. I just hope that one of these days if it comes down to controversy we'll get one of those calls. The two most evident ones are the last two games we've played against great teams. Hopefully one of these days it will go our way."

feelings on video board, lights at Jack Trice:

"They just turned the video board on today, so I haven't seen that. We were in there for the mock game and the lights were on, so we got to see that. It's really neat and is a great atmosphere. It will be a lot of fun going out there on Saturday."

on coaching with Terry Allen this season:

"I have really enjoyed every minute of being with him. We were never college buddies or roommates or inseparable. We were four years apart in Iowa City growing up. But we've been friends and had a lot of respect for one another. He brings a real passion and a positive attitude with everything we do. We've got personalities that really match and get along great. I'm really glad to have him here."

on Allen coaching against his former team:

"This is not ‘win one for TA.' That's not the battle cry this week. This is, ‘let's do everything we can to be 1-0 in the Big 12 Conference. We're going to either be 1-0 and tied for first, or 0-1 and tied for last for the next month. I've approached it that way and so has Terry."

on Jordan Carstens playing different spots along defensive line:

"We want to get the best lineup out there on the field that we can. Certain situations he may be somewhere we think we might be a little better against the run. Sometimes he may be lined up where we think that combination is better as a pass defense. He can line up and play any of those spots. He's one of those guys. We'll continue to roll him in there at each of those three positions."

Terry Allen on facing former team this weekend:

"First and foremost, obviously this is a story because I was involved with Kansas. But the reality of the situation is that this game has nothing to do with me. It's about Iowa State bouncing back after playing their guts out against Florida State and starting Big 12 play."

"It's going to be a very difficult day for my five- and seven-year olds. They're going to be a little confused. They've been cheering for Jayhawks and now they've got the Jayhawks and Cyclones. They're Cyclones now, but it might be a little bit confusing."

Jordan Carstens on what Allen brings to the table:

"He definitely gives us a good feeling of the personnel. He gave an in-depth scouting report yesterday and he knows a lot of the players and a lot about them. He brought that to this game and I think that's going to help us. As far as what Coach Quartaro can do down there, I don't know what he's going to do to get them prepared."

Brandon Brown on switching gears to Kansas:

"We have moved on already. You take it one game at a time. We have to take this loss and move on, even though we think we should have won. Kansas is what we're focusing on right now and starting the Big 12 schedule."

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