ISU Players Preview Toledo

Three Cyclone standouts breakdown the first road game of the season at Toledo. Iowa State is a slight favorite over a winless Rockets' squad that took them to the brink at Jack Trice Stadium last season.

Chris Brown


Q:  Talk about the game and being prepared to step in and talking to the coaches…earlier in the year they said that depth was going to be important and guys needed to be prepared to step in…you stepped in in a big way on Saturday.  Talk about that.


Brown:  They prepare us every week for all sorts of different situations.  They put us all in the best position to play.  When your number is called, you have to be ready.


Q:  Last year the defensive backfield and the pass defense was a liability.  So far this year, the defense has stepped up big at times…particularly in the fourth quarter.  What do you attribute that to?


Brown:  Hard work and grinding.  We knew how bad we were last year.  We heard about it from the coaching staff because it's the same guys but it's a new team attitude.  We tried to take that to a new level.


Q:  When you looked at the play by play and looked at the results of the first two games, Iowa State wasn't nearly as bad as the score might have indicated.  There were a lot of positives.  Talk about going into this week…what it took to maintain the confidence that you could beat a very good Iowa team.


Brown:  The coaches told us every day not to change what we were doing…not even if you're 0-2…just come out every day and your progress will eventually start showing up on Saturdays.


Q:  You are one of the players the coaches talked about that made some physical transformations over the summer going through Coach Shepherd's program.  Talk about that.


Brown:  He worked us hard.  We could definitely see the changes in our bodies because of the work we were doing.  We weren't used to lifting as much and running as hard.  It really paid off for us.


Q:  I'm going to enjoy this victory a little bit because when I picked this victory, I almost got thrown off radio.  Talk about the Toledo game.  Talk about what it takes to get off of this big victory and focus on the next game.


Brown:  We just got to put it behind us.  It was a great victory, but we have to look forward.  There's a lot more games to play.  We have to treat it just like every game and go in with the same attitude.


Q:  What do you see going forward?  What do you see as your role now with the team?


Brown:  I really don't know, but whatever it is I'm going to do to the best of my abilities.


Milan Moses


Q:  How involved are you in protecting the quarterback?


Moses:  Everybody's involved in protecting the quarterback because we have to protect it when he throws it.  It's a circle effect in football because it's a team game.


Q:  What did you think when you first heard there would be no names on the back of the jerseys?


Moses:  Chizik's call.  He does things in our best interest.  You play for the university first before you do anything.  We've become more of a team and we're playing for each other rather than for ourselves.


Q:  Talk about maintaining your confidence in the face of adversity.


Moses:  You have adversity in life.  That's where your faith comes in.  You just have to keep your faith.  There's always a way to get something done.  You're always going to have adversity.

Q:  One of the things that impressed me about the team was the character of the team.  Looking at the play by play from the first two games, this team beat itself more than the other team did.  Did that give you guys encouragement going into this game that if you didn't make the mistakes you would be in there?


Moses:  First couple games we had seven turnovers.  We knew we were beating ourselves and if we wanted to win we had to stay focused and have the confidence to get the job done.  We wanted it and we were able to come out victorious.


Q:  Going into the Toledo game what is going to be the key to winning this game and preparing for the Big 12 season?

Moses:  We have to prepare hard in the meeting room, watching film, practicing.  That's what we have to do.   


Q:  Talk about the little things that Coach Chizik stresses…knowing the fight song, showing up in Iowa State gear for interviews rather than a t-shirt.  Talk about the little things in terms of tradition and school colors that make a difference.


Moses:  Chizik is a great coach and he always does things in our best interest…what's best for us.  So whatever he does, we know it's done to help us and not to hurt us.  We don't question anything he does.


Q:  Talk about the defense.  The first two games you didn't allow a point in the fourth quarter.  Talk about the defense and their ability to come up with the big plays.


Moses:  The defense is led by great leaders.  They're rallied around great leaders that we have faith in as a whole team to get the job done for us.


R. J. Sumrall


Q:  Talk about the victory.  I know you're focused on next week, but talk about how sweet this victory was.


Sumrall:  It was really sweet.  I think it's going to start…it's a snowball effect.  We know we can win so we're going to work even harder for this win.  We don't want to take a step back.  I think this win hopefully started a trend.  We want that to happen.


Q:  Toledo, you got a chance to see a MAC opponent.  What are the coaches telling you are the keys to winning?


Sumrall:  Win your individual battle, don't have penalties, keep the ball, no turnovers.  We really haven't focused on Toledo yet because Sunday we just get back in shape. Tomorrow we'll focus on Toledo.  Today we watch film.


Q:  Saturday we saw Brett step up big time.  We saw both Bretts.  Talk about their performance and their leadership as seniors.


Sumrall:  Culbertson stepped up tremendously for the team.  He scored all our points for us which is great.  A lot of people were doubting him, but we know what he can do.  It was a great time for him to step up and do what he can do.  Everyone knew Brett could do it.  It was just when he was going to.  We didn't have any sacks.  He managed it well. 


Q:  You mentioned Phil Bates…Wallace had a chance to get out there….talk about how the newcomers are making an impact on the team.


Sumrall:  They made a great impact.  With all the newcomers, they're going to play or they're pushing the starter to step it up and keep their position.  They had a tremendous role in two-a-days and right now helping out the team making us better than what we were.  We know that we still don't have a starting spot.  It can be taken any time.  I really think they're pushing for it.  It's making sure that the starters stay on their game. 

Q:  Talk about the defense.


Sumrall:  They've done so much it's ridiculous.  Even though we lost, I was proud of them because they stood there and played hard.  We're more physical and we're faster.  They're helping us win.  They've really stepped up and they're doing a tremendous job.

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