Reeling Cyclones Prep for Colorado

Iowa State coach Dan McCarney spoke with the conference media Monday morning via teleconference two days after his Cyclones suffered one of their most embarrasing losses of the season. After falling 58-7 at K-State, Mac's squad faces defending Big 12 champion Colorado. Here are some of the highlights of McCarney's teleconference.

Opening comments:

"Congratulations to Bill Snyder and the Wildcats. They have a tremendous football team and we knew that going into it. They have a fantastic system, are very physical, have great team speed and are well coached. They completely dominated us throughout the game and are very deserving of the ranking they have right now. We have seen plenty of top 10 teams on our schedule this year and they are playing like one of them."

"Obviously I'm very disappointed with our performance. It was very uncharacteristic, some of the things we did. We've been the least penalized team in the league and had all kinds of penalties. We've been in the top 15 all season long from a turnover ratio standpoint and we had six turnovers. We haven't had a running back fumble since the season of 2000, but one of our backs fumbled. Kansas State had a lot to do with it, but those were things very uncharacteristic of our team. We're very disappointed with that."

"It's a great challenge this week out at Colorado. Gary Barnett has built a tremendous program out there and they're an outstanding football team. They're the defending Big 12 champs and are playing for the Big 12 North title this week. And again we're going on the road to face another nationally ranked football team. I'm looking forward to it. It's our last Big 12 game of the year and we're looking to play a lot better football this week."

On difficult slate of road games being played out:

"This has been the road schedule from hell for us. I don't mind traveling and enjoy going on the road with teams. But this year we start the season and Florida State's ranked at three. Oklahoma on the road is number two. Texas is ranked number four. Iowa is now ranked sixth in the country. Kansas State's 11th today and is playing like a top-10 team. Colorado is an outstanding football team that's nationally ranked in the top 20."

"That part of it's just almost to the point of being ridiculous, some of the teams we've played on the road. But we've known it for a long time and don't make excuses about it. We've tried to embrace this opportunity with this whole season and are proud of being bowl eligible through the toughest schedule in the history of Iowa State. We're looking forward to trying to finish strong with these final two games we play."

On fears of team not recovering from Saturday's blowout:

"We can't let them do that. We can't let last week's complete annihilation by Kansas State over us affect our game this week. We've got to get back to playing our style of football and being a lot more effective, taking care of the football, not beating ourselves and playing more physical. Those are things we didn't do last week."

On team's reaction thus far:

"We'll find out today. I'll see them this afternoon in the meetings and everything. It's a great group of young men and a classy bunch. We've been through an awful lot this season, yet are still two wins away from having the best three seasons combined in the history of Iowa State. We are playing for an awful lot. I think they'll respond and rebound. We've been through this before this year, unfortunately. I really believe in these kids that they'll come back and play well. We've got to hang together, show a lot of support and loyalty to each other and try to finish strong."

On team wearing down mentally and physically from rigors of schedule:

"We don't plan for that and anticipate it. We hope that doesn't happen again, believe me. It's been a long go of it. Fifteen weeks ago today our freshmen reported, so it's been a long season. But to me that didn't have anything to do with turning the ball, having some of the penalties and things that are very uncharacteristic of our team. We have turned this thing around without beating ourselves very often and that was a clear thing Saturday. Kansas State was clearly the superior team and was much better, but we helped their cause."

On how team recovered from Oklahoma blowout and if he could expect same this week:

"I didn't sense any hangover that week from our players. I felt like they were extremely disappointed and upset at themselves, knowing that we're capable of playing better football, giving great credit to Oklahoma then and Kansas State now. But we came back, played well and had a lead down at Austin, Texas, at halftime. I thought we played real good football and it's going to take that kind of effort to have a chance this week. I would be very disappointed if we don't this week."

On thoughts of bringing backup quarterback Cris Love in earlier Saturday:

"We did get Cris in in the fourth quarter. But Seneca was healthy and was fine. We were trying to get something done in that game so that we could build on it for Colorado. It was just a hard go and a long go against that Kansas State defense. Hopefully we won't be in those situations again this year where we have to make decisions on when to put your backup in because we're getting blown out so bad."

On status of center Zach Butler, who strained an Achilles Tendon against K-State:

"He'll be fine. We may have a couple of guys that miss today's practice. But looking long term for Saturday, everybody should be back for Saturday's game."

On questionable call on first of Bobby Walker's two punt returns for touchdowns in third quarter:

"If there's a call that we feel like should be reviewed after evaluating and analyzing, then we turn it in. We did that yesterday. We look forward to hearing from Tim Millis. He's very efficient and very professional about following up and answering any of our questions about the calls. We felt that it was clearly a fumble. I don't think that was going to affect the outcome of the game, but it was a call that we felt should have been made."


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