Wayne Bolt Q&A

What did ISU's new defensive coordinator think about his unit's performance in the opener? What improvements does he want to see this week against Northern Iowa? Find out here.

Q:  Break down the offense of UNI.


Bolt:  The quarterback is an outstanding quarterback.  He's been a starter for a lot of years and has led his football team for a long time.  He'll be one of the top quarterbacks that we face this season.  We've got to do a good job against what they do.  He's an outstanding player and we look forward to going against him.  The kids are excited about the challenges there.  They're working to get better this week.  We've had two really good days of practice so far and we're excited about that.

Q:  What are you guys going to try to do to make sure he doesn't get too comfortable back there in the pocket?


Bolt:  Well, I think you have to be able to put pressure on them…four man pressure…five man pressure.  You can't do too much or he'll hurt you.  You have to pick your places.  You have to put pressure on him.  You can't let him sit back there.  He's done a good job against the blitz so we've got to be solid in what we're doing. 


Q:  Coach Chizik stressed that the defensive line is where it begins.  Could you talk about the line play this week and what you expect going into the game this week?

Bolt:  I think our kids are getting better.  We were disappointed last week in what happened.  I think the kids have gotten better these last two days.  If they continue to improve and do the things that we're asking, we'll be fine.  As soon as we get going with improvement, we've got to take it to the field.


Q:  I know you guys don't look too far down the schedule, but you said you thought he was going to be one of the best quarterbacks he was going to face this season.  Where does he rank with the quarterbacks that you'll face this season?


Bolt:  I don't know.  We take them one at a time.  I've looked at all the quarterbacks that we'll face.  I looked at them this summer and he's a good one.  He leads their football team and does a good job with leadership.  He's a former walk-on.  It's a tribute to him and his coaches…what he's been able to do.  I look forward to meeting the kid.


Q:  …kind of struggling to stop the running game with Kent State.  You did get the three turnovers in the red zone.  It's got to be encouraging to see the team making plays?


Bolt:  Yes, they made some plays and they missed some plays.  We let the quarterback run around a little bit and he made some big plays.  Those are things we have to get corrected.  The kids know the sense of urgency with the situation.  We've explained it to them.  They see it.  They know it.  We have to play with better technique and passion so the Iowa State people will be proud of us.


Q:  What's the depth on the line looking like?  Is the line getting the depth you want?


Bolt:  I think so.  Chris Lowe's come on and he's getting better every day.  Noseguard…Benny Johnson has some reps and he's getting better.  Those are guys that played and are getting better.  They've all got to play because the starters can't play the whole game.


Q:  You talked about special teams.  What needs to be improved on there?


Bolt:  I don't think there's any question…we missed a couple field goals.  We had a long kickoff against us and looked like our punt team did a good job.  We downed them in the red zone several times.  We've got to get better.  Our kickers have to get better.  It's not just him…the whole team needs to get better. 


Q:  One of the things that happens when a team loses…one of the advantages is it points out what went wrong.  What went right?  Also, talk about the Rashawn Parker sack in the fourth quarter.


Bolt:  Rashawn had a big big sack.  That kid did a great job holding on to the football.  We got a chance to scoop and score.  Rashawn did a great move on the defensive end in the back and made a great play.  There's a lot of good things in the game.  You don't dwell on the bad.  You tell the kids what's good and what's bad and be honest with them.  We aren't going to dwell on the past, but look to the future.  We've got to let them know when they do good.


Q:  Through your first few months with Alvin Bowen, what have you seen from him as far as a player? 


Bolt:  I think Alvin is a heck of a player.  He led the nation in tackles last year and he's good a linebacker as I've ever been around speed wise.  He loves to practice…that's the first thing.  He gets better every day.  I look forward to watching him throughout the year.  He made a lot of plays this past Thursday and he didn't make some that he had a chance to make.  He's a leader for us and we look for him to be a positive force for this fall. 


Q:  Do you see him after he doesn't make some of those plays pounding the ground?


Bolt:  Right…right.  It's important to him and that's good.  He doesn't like to do bad.  That shows me it's important to him.  I think all our kids are like that.  When they don't make a play, it hurts them.  That's the way it ought to be.

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