James Smith Q&A

Here's the text of our recent audio interview with the ISU defensive back.

Q: Having had a chance to reflect upon the game, what were some of the positives that you saw looking at the tape?

Smith: It was good to see that we were starting to click in the new system and that's what we need. Everyday we learn something new. There's an improvement from last week to this week. Whenever you have improvement, that's good.

Q: The defense has managed two weeks in a row to hold the opponents scoreless in the fourth quarter. Is that because of the conditioning program has you guys more fit and able for the fourth quarter or more guys are running in? What's made this team so tough at the end of the game?

Smith: We have a saying that we never quit…from the start of the game to the end of the game, we never quit. Of course, the conditioning…we've been here the last nine months working hard with Coach Shep and his staff. Conditioning level is very good.

Q: In terms of getting ready for the Iowa game, what are the coaches focusing on?

Smith: This is probably the first time for them to share this experience of this rivalry. We just have to take it like a normal week…go out there, have good practices, learn from our mistakes of last week and the rest will take care of itself.

Q: The passing defense was a question mark coming into this season. There haven't been any big plays given up. To what do you attribute the early affectiveness of the pass defense?

Smith: Pass defense is…I haven't seen any of the teams throwing too much so far, but I think we've improved from where we were at last year. We'll keep improving.

Q: What does this rivalry mean to you as an Iowan?

Smith: I know it's a big game, but personally I haven't gotten to play in it. To me, it's just like any other game, but it is a big game. We just have to go out there, stay focused, and play a good game.

Q: What is bigger for you, the Iowa game or the Nebraska game?

Smith: They're all big for me.

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