Post-Iowa Player Interviews

If you missed the audio yesterday here are transcripts of several post-game player interviews following the victory over Iowa.

Bret Meyer

Q: Looks like you guys made a real effort to get Todd the ball early and that loosened up things for the other guys?

Meyer: Yeah, we did. Obviously when you have a player like that you have to give them chances early.

Q: They got that 1 point lead and then they shut you down on the next drive. What were you thinking there? Did it get kind of nerve-racking a little bit?

Meyer: No, not really. If you're patient, sooner or later you're going to get one.

Q: Seemed like especially in the first half, you were seeing some holes where you were able to take off and pick up some yards. How much did that help things?

Meyer: That was huge. We know that when they play that kind of defense there's going to be holes in the middle of the field. We were able to take advantage of that.

Q: Where does this rank in your career?

Meyer: It's got to be up there. I can't really say now, but it has to be up there given what's happened the last two weeks.

Q:

Meyer: I think it's huge. I think it's great. There's a lot of emotion.

Q: Does this give the team hope for the rest of the year?


Meyer: We never lost hope.


Q: Probably gives you more of a feeling that the team can accomplish good things.

Meyer: Yeah, we were close. It's just execution. They put together a great plan for us and we just had to execute it. We did that today.


Q: Talk about that last drive. It seemed you guys were in control.

Meyer: We knew what we had to do. RJ made a great play and JJ ran hard. Phil came up big. He's 17 years old…that's something.

Todd Blythe

Q: Brett's taken some heat this week. How about his play today?

Blythe: It was huge. His leadership as a senior and all the experience he has and playing in the Big 12 for four years, it just shows you that he can handle a lot. He was precise in passing. He was accurate all day and he made a lot of big plays for us.

Q: They seemed to move you around and make it more difficult for the defense to line up and get someone behind you. Talk about what the coaches said in determining how to use you today.

Blythe: Just, as we were going through our game plan this week getting ready for this game they said that they were going to move me around and make it difficult for the defense to find me. If the defense is scrambling around, that will give other guys a chance to make plays. They're going to be back there in the defensive backfield especially in the first half for me, at least, there were a lot of wholes.


Q: You've been a part of a lot of landmark games. Where does this rank for wins?

Blythe: What a first win for Coach Chizik! For me as a senior, for the rest of my life to walk around and say that the last time I played in this rivalry, I got to walk up to our locker room holding the trophy? That's unbelievable. No one will ever be able to take that away from me. This game ranks right up there with anything that I've been a part of so far.

Q: Where were you when Shaggy lined up to kick?

Blythe: I was right across from the trophy in a three point sprinter's stance getting ready to take off. But then they had one second on the clock and I had to wait a little bit. But, I was watching…I had my helmet buckled up because I knew I was going to get mobbed and I wanted to be protected. I watched it go through, and that was it for me.

R.J. Sumrall

Q: What did it mean to get this win this week?

Sumrall: It meant a lot. Now we just have to keep it going. It meant so much. People are still in there crying right now.

Q: How about the play that Brett made today?

Sumrall: We all knew he had it. It was the outsiders talking. All the players and coaches knew that he had it.

Q: How about Culbertson?

Sumrall: It was great. He bounced back from those missed field goals the last two weeks. I'm proud of him.

Q: Did their D look a little confused? Could you tell if you guys were frustrating them with your cross routes?

Sumrall: They looked tired to me…like they didn't really want to be physical. That was our game plan…to go out there, be physical and wear them down.

Q: Does a win like this vindicate an 0-2 start?

Sumrall: Yes. Yes, it does.

Q: (couldn't hear)

Sumrall: Yeah, well the first game we had a lot of mistakes…we had three turnovers and it was really hard to bounce back from that. We missed a lot of assignments. In the second game, we had four turnovers and a lot of individual battles that were won, but the turnovers hurt us a lot and we didn't get any on defense. This week we focused on staying physical, winning our individual battles, and keeping the ball.


Q: How'd you like the play of yourself?

Sumrall: I was ready to go. I was just ready to step up and help the team win.

Q: The whole team seemed focused from the start. What is it that Coach put in your water this week?

Sumrall: Well, early this week we thought at Sunday's meeting that he was going to be really upset with us, but he actually came in and we focused on winning our battles…what he calls winning our box. We focused on that and stayed physical. He said that whoever was physical and focused on game plan would win the game.

Alvin Bowen

Q: Does that give you added motivation when people doubt you?

Bowen: Of course.

Q: How big is this for the fan base?

Bowen: We owed them this.

Q: One of the reasons that I had said that the team would win is because of the character of the guys. Coming here day after day and seeing how hard you guys work. Talk about the effort that's been put into this and the perseverance through the losses that helped lead to this victory.


Bowen: I'm sorry to say, but we had to take that Virginia Tech method…come to work. The first two games we made terrible mistakes that caused us to lose the game and we weren't going to let it happen again tonight.

Q: Talk about the defense because the last quarter of the last two games, the defense hasn't allowed a point. This game they only allowed three even though Iowa looked like they had a chance for more. Talk about how the defense came up.

Bowen: Like I was saying to the defense, do your job and we'll be fine. That's what we did today. We still had some mistakes in there, but we did our job and now the score's the result.

Q: Brett Culbertson's been very…this season. Talk about how big this is for him and the players supporting him through the rough patch.

Bowen: We never turned our backs on him. That's the thing about a family…good times and bad times, as long as we stick together we got them. That's what we did and see what he did for us today? That's fine.


Q: How did you guys have the strength to pick yourselves up and to do what you did today?


Bowen: It was amazing more to the outside than the inside. We knew what we were capable of. Iowa is a great team, but we knew if we did what we needed to do, we'd win the game.

Q: You believe that?

Bowen: Of course. If you have a doubt, you start making mistakes.


Q: Even in the second half when they made a run at you?


Bowen: That's fine. They'll make runs. They practice just like we do. They're going to complete some plays, but at the end of the day, you have to look at the scoreboard and say….it speaks for itself.


Q: Last game it seemed like the defense stepped up…you stepped up. I think you took off a couple helmets. Talk about the physicality of this team.

Bowen: In this game you have to be very physical. You have to be mental too, but most of the times it comes down to who is more physical and who wants it more. If you don't want it more, no matter who the team is, if they want it more, they're going to take it…no matter who it is. I don't care if you're a high school freshman team playing against a D1 team.

Q: Who's the better quarterback…your little brother or Brett?


Bowen: Of course, my little brother.

Phillip Bates

Q: Phillip, take us back to your decision to come to Iowa State. What was it about the school that made up your mind to come here?

Bates: I mean, Coach Chizik came to my house and we sat down and had dinner. He was honest with me. He wanted me here to make plays.

Q: Was your dad here today?

Bates: Yes, he's downstairs waiting for me.

Q: Talk about the play. They didn't redshirt you this year. Talk about the decision not to redshirt you and how you feel about that.

Bates: Whatever I can do to help. If we're going to win games and he thinks I can help, I'm going to help. The play was amazing. Brett looked at me, he signaled me, and I had to make the play.

Q: You grew up around football and a great family legacy. Is this what you kind of dreamed about as a little kid…the big play?

Bates: Yeah, playing with my cousins and all my friends back home. I never really thought it would happen like this though.

Bret Culbertson

Q: You came up big today. Talk about the pressure. Talk about today.

Culbertson: Iowa/Iowa State game…big rivalry….the team knew that if we could get this one it would be rolling for the season. I honestly don't know what the rest of the season holds, but it's up to God to decide. Pressure coming off of 3 mixed kicks…I have a lot of people behind me. I've had a lot of people tell me that they have faith in me. I have confidence beyond reason because I find my confidence in Christ. Couldn't be more happy with the outcome.

Q: When you hit the uprights on the field goal that would have given you the lead…what was going through your mind?

Culbertson: I wish I could have gotten that one too, but five for six, I'll take that any day. After I missed that, they came back down the field and scored their field goal. I wanted one…I wanted it just to show my team I'm still here after 3 years, a lot of disappointing games…I'm still here.

Q: Where does this victory rank?

Culbertson: Personally, I don't know. I probably say number one. I remember K-State a couple years back. I didn't get to play that game, but it was great to see Tony Yelk his senior year come out and play. I don't know. I'm just glad it happened tonight.

Q: Now, when I talked to you earlier, they made you run just like everyone else, work just like everyone else, get strong just like everyone else. To me, one of the keys to this game was the three touchbacks. Talk about…we hear so much about how exciting this game has become because of the five yards back…three touchbacks…talk about that.

Culbertson: It's what you can do with a little wind behind you and some adrenaline pumping. I think it's great that we work out with the team…run what they do…you have to be an athlete first. That's what I've been taught and that's my philosophy.

Q: One of the things that Coach Chizik has brought is a sense of tradition. He's made you guys learn the fight song, when you guys show up for interviews there's a dress code. Talk about those little things and how that brings you together as a team and makes such a difference.

Culbertson: When we travel, it's pretty relaxed. The schedule that he has for us is great and sets us up for great things.

Q: Last thing. I need to ask this question because this team didn't get in trouble. In the past, we'd get to the beginning of the season…one thing I noticed is that not only does this team appear to be a very mature team, but it's also a very grounded team…a very spiritual team. Talk about how that played a role in not getting down and maintaining your faith in yourselves.

Culbertson: Honestly, over the last couple weeks coming off 3 misses…everybody's giving me confidence and everything, but I thought that I felt a hole inside of me. I surprised myself and went to The Word just looking for what I needed. If you need an answer, that Book has it.


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