Football Quotebook: Texas

At Tuesday's weekly football press conference in Ames both Coach Dan McCarney and his Iowa State Cyclones were eager to forget about the dreary drubbing at Oklahoma and focus on Texas.

Dan McCarney's opening comments:

"It's a new week and challenge for us. We're the only team in the country playing two top-10 teams on the road at their place, so it's going to be a great challenge. I'm anxious to see how this team will bounce back this week and come back from the adversity of last week."

"The health is real good overall. It's just some minor things. It's been a long year with a lot of games and snaps. I think everybody is going to be available by Saturday."

"Jeremy Loyd is our special teams captain and has done a great job for us all year on special teams and as a linebacker. He's going home and sure deserves to be a captain this week."

"We've got 16 Texans on the roster and at least 14 of them will travel. A number of those kids have a real strong role on this football team. We're anxious to play and get back on the field and put the Oklahoma game behind us. We walked out of the meeting yesterday and the game was over. We had already gone through it, digested it, corrected it, critiqued it, evaluated it and it's all over and behind us. We'll move on to the next one."

"Texas is an outstanding football team with about as much talent as we'll see on any team we face all year. They're very deserving of their top-10 ranking. Many of the players are back off of that 11-win season last year. They're really an impressive team on tape. They're ranked in the top five in three defensive categories. So our offense, coming off of our worst performance of the year, has its hands full again going against one of the better defenses in college football."

"Offensively, Texas has playmakers all over the place that are outstanding in college and many will go on to the NFL. It should be a great challenge."

"We're going to do all that we can to define the legacy of this football team the next five Saturdays. We're still 6-2 and have accomplished a lot and have a lot of things to look forward to these next five Saturdays. The most important thing is I want all of us to be proud when that game's over. Whatever happens with the score in this game, I want all of us to be proud. I felt that way the first seven games of the season, but none of us were proud of anything we did last Saturday."

building on second half performance against Sooners:

"We wanted to go back out and execute a lot better in the second half. I thought we played pretty hard defensively and had three three-and-outs and a six-and-out. For the most part, overall, we did a lot of good things defensively. We held them to 360 yards and that's on 90 snaps when you're out there all day long. We had some MVPs and good performances, led by Jordan Carstens and JaMaine Billups. Offensively, we couldn't say that about anyone."

on reaction to 49-3 loss:

"We just all want to get back to the way we're capable of playing. We know that Oklahoma played outstanding and we played poorly. We're playing for an awful lot and want to get back playing our style of football and doing the things we know we can to give ourselves a chance to win this game Saturday."

"We weren't in here yelling at anybody. There wasn't any one person or side of the ball, but we just all did a poor job and that starts with me. But Iowa State's not the only team Oklahoma's done that to in recent years. They're capable of doing that to a lot of teams. How you handle it and bounce back from that adversity will tell a lot about our team."

on importance of playing well in state of Texas:

"We want to look good any chance we get to play and especially when you've got another regional audience watching your football team. Everybody is aware of the score last week, just like they are of the first seven weeks of our season. You want to come back, play well, look good and have the chance to win a football game."

"I've got five assistants down there full-time recruiting. We have invested an awful lot and made a commitment to recruiting Texas, because of the talent and since it's Big 12 country. It's very important in our program that we do well recruiting Texas."

on positives of good start to recruiting:

"Before the season, during the season, after the season, as long as we're doing a good job of addressing our needs and evaluating the type of young men we need in the program, and the sooner you can secure some commitments the sooner you get to filling your needs. That's one of the main things that's changed in recruiting through the years—there are a lot more kids making their decisions earlier."

on getting rush game going against Longhorns:

"It's hard to run it on them, just ask the last few teams that have played them. The one category they're not in the top-five in is rush defense, but they're still real strong and physical. They go 325 (pounds) here, 315 here and have two NFL guys on the edge out there. Both backers are outstanding. You don't see any under-sized over-achievers when you watch Texas. They're oversized achievers. They are big physical guys that can run."

"We have got to get our running game going. We can't go through the next five weeks handing it off a few times, get whacked in the face and then just expect we're going to protect, throw and catch to win games. We have got to do a great job this week and have really challenged our offense to get our running game going."

on being more worried about Texas or his team's getting over Oklahoma:

"I'm a lot more concerned about my team and that's the most important thing right now. We've had a great year so far with one major disappointment last week. But we've had a real good season and have accomplished a lot. If losing hurts you a little bit, then we're probably in trouble. If it makes you sick to your stomach, which I think it has with all of us here and you don't like it and are upset, then do something about it. Whatever happens with the score this week, I think you're going to see a team very unified and motivated to play a lot better than last week."

on overall impressions of rush game this season:

"It's been real average overall. I think part of that is we've seen some great defenses. With the exception of Butsy (Zach Butler) and Bobby Montgomery, those are the only two starters from last year. We also lose a tight end. So we didn't come back with a two-deep of experienced starters or experienced guys. But we need to do a better job. We can't stay where we're at with our rushing game. Every guy on that offense has got to take that challenge and do their part to improve."

on Texas receivers:

"They're one of the best groups of receivers in college football, no doubt about it. We see lots of them in this league. But they're real outstanding. There are no short ones in there or little guys that happen to run fast and have good feet. They've got height, can jump and are athletic. About the time you see people double-teaming number four and trying to take him out of the game, then here comes (B.J.) Johnson and he's wide open, one-on-one and making the big athletic catches. They're loaded, have great talent and use a lot of wide receivers. Simms can get it to them."

on concerns of Seneca Wallace bouncing back:

"I'm really not (worried). He's got a lot of maturity about him and has a lot of class and character. I don't think he feels like that it was his fault we lost the game. He knows this is a team game and we didn't play well as a football team. But based on what I saw yesterday out at practice, he came back and had a great look in his eye and is very determined to play better this week. I'd be very surprised if he didn't."

"As long as he knows and understands that no one played real well. They had guys coming at him all day. He didn't get many chances to set his feet, throw the football and do it with confidence. I trust him with all of my heart and I think he'll come back and play real good football this week."

on Wallace being effected by time demands off the field:

"It's been a load. I don't know if it's worn him down. It's non-stop. You've gone from a junior college where you probably never had any interviews to getting a pretty good taste of it last year to it being non-stop and relentless this year every time he turns around. We're not putting him off limits. He does have an academic conflict today and will be available after the game Saturday."

on Wallace putting too much pressure on himself:

"We've gone all the way to being top-10 in the country with everybody doing their part. I don't think that he's ever had the pressure that he has to be sensational every snap for us to succeed. Everybody has to do their job—our receivers, offensive line, backs and tight ends—and we have a lot of room to improve. Let's step it up and do a better job and be more accountable, effective and do a better job this week. I don't want Seneca to feel any more pressure than that."

on metamorphosis of ISU defense under himself:

"Recruiting is at the heart of it. It's bringing in Big 12-caliber players, big guys that can run and being more physical in your front seven. We're getting better there. You're trying to get that thing set where you're really putting veterans on the field and are more physical up front. Then the real thing is you've got to recruit defensive speed. Then it's having some consistency and continuity in your system and with your coaches."

"You have got to have the horses up front and the big, strong, physical guys up front in the trenches. But you've got to have the speed, too. Those guys that have all of those things, you see them on the teams that play great defense every year in this league."

on need to shore up punting game:

"We've had two punts blocked this year in eight games. One is too many and we've had two of them. We don't like that. We had a miscommunication (on Saturday) and it's something we've covered. We didn't get it done on gameday and need to do a better job of coaching it. Some of their stunts and blitzes that they came at us with defensively were new and we hadn't seen those, but the punt block was not anything new. It was poor communication."

on defensive challenges against Longhorns:

"It's going to be hard, because they are very balanced and can get you either way with the great receivers and Simms throwing the ball, a gigantic offensive line and (Cedric) Benson who really has tremendous talent. Both of those backs can play."

"We've got to get back on track trying to get some turnovers. We didn't get any with our defense last week. That always helps and is an equalizer. Then we've got to be great tacklers in this game. All of those receivers and running backs are real elusive. We've got to hang in the trenches with these guys, because they're very physical up front."

on what to expect from Texas defense on Saturday:

"The first thing we've got to do is protect Seneca and that's something we're putting a lot of time in on. Texas will bring looks from all over the place and will blitz from everywhere. They give you a lot of different looks."

"Normally, you always settle in and look at what you think their base defense is and what you see the most of. But there are not a lot of snaps of a base defense with Texas. They come at you from all directions. After Saturday and Oklahoma's success at disrupting our offense and Seneca, what do you think we're going to get? We're going to get a lot of blitzes on Saturday."

Casey Shelton on next opponent:

"We need to come in staying focused and worrying about this game. We're going to come in with the focus of focusing in on Texas and taking each game one game at a time."

JaMaine Billups on defending Texas:

"It's the whole offense. They've got good players at each position. Oklahoma had the same thing with a good running back, receivers and quarterback. We've got to look at the whole offense and go from that. We can't focus on one guy and need to go in and try to execute against the whole offense."

Matt Word on importance of putting heat on Chris Simms:

"We definitely need to get some pressure on him, give him some different looks they haven't seen and hopefully cause some turnovers. He's a really good quarterback, though, so we respect him. We need to execute our defense. If we're going to put some pressure on him, everybody on the back end has to cover up."

Jack Whitver on Wallace's reaction to his performance in Norman:

"I'm sure it's been tough for him, but the good thing about Seneca is he doesn't let things rattle him. Whether he didn't have a good play or something like that, he doesn't let things rattle him. So if anyone on this team can handle all of the time demands and pressure it would be Seneca."

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