Iowa State-UConn Quotebook

Iowa State players and coaches comment on Saturday's 37-20 home loss at the hands of Connecticut.

Dan McCarney:

"Congratulations to Randy Edsell and the Connecticut Huskies, they did a real fine job and are a well-coached team. We talked about going into this game that they're a much-improved football team. They're 20th in the nation in defense and sixth in the nation in pass defense. Their quarterback makes plays and they have a 1,000-yard rusher at running back. They played like it today. I thought they did a real good job and deserve a lot of congratulations and respect from us."

"We're very disappointed with the outcome. I'm still proud that we had a winning season and hopefully get a chance to go somewhere for a bowl game. But I'm very disappointed in this last game for our seniors. There is only 14 of them. We really wanted a better outcome of the game."

"Mike Wagner didn't play because he had a bad hamstring. He hurt it in the Colorado game and didn't practice this week. We tried to take a look at him in pre-game and that's why he didn't play. It was nothing other than he was injured, otherwise he would have played."

"It was anybody's game coming out of halftime. My gut feeling is that we looked like a tired football team. I'm the last head coach in America that ever makes excuses. I just don't. I don't accept them, like them and don't like players or coaches using them. But being honest, from standing on the sidelines watching, we played like a tired football team."

"I want this team to get away. They've got eight days to get away and be with their families, give thanks, rest and relax. We've been going since late July. They need to get away, get a good break and come back with some new energy, enthusiasm and focus. And we'll get ready for our bowl practices and preparation."

"We're trying to execute our offense. We have reads on every play, as far as where to go with it. We're trying to read coverages and sometimes are trying to read blitz, are they zone, are they rushing three or bringing six? They really did a good job. They're sixth in the nation in pass defense and they've played some real good teams this year, including Miami and Georgia Tech."

"The game last week that opened a lot of people's eyes is what they did to Navy. They had taken Notre Dame to the last series of the game. The turnovers have really hurt us. That's 14 in the last three games. We were in the top 15 in the country for about three months. We have really got to get that corrected and solved, because thankfully this isn't the last game we'll play this year. We'll get a chance to go somewhere for another game."

"We probably wouldn't be in favor of doing it next year right away. It is a long season, there's no doubt about it. But everybody in the country is playing 12 though. It's a long season for everyone. It's just not an excuse. If you keep talking about that or I do, that takes away what Connecticut accomplished today. They're real sound in every phase of the game and deserved to win it."

"I'm not a psychologist and psychiatrist, and don't know to read into all those things. But it's been a long haul. When you play eight ranked teams and five in the top 10, that's a lot of games. It's not just games, practices and meetings, it's who you're playing and preparing for. I'm still very proud of this program, players and coaches. I know it's real tough right now. It's a tough locker room. We put a lot into this season and thankfully it's not the last game this year. Hopefully there will be another opportunity for the Cyclones."

"That really was a huge play in the outcome of the game. We still had plenty of time after that to still go win a game. He went untouched on a counter play and we didn't fit with being very physical where we needed to, they executed and we didn't. That counter play hasn't really hurt us much this year, we've been pretty sound and solid on those things. But they did a good job and their back is an excellent player. That's one of the better true freshmen in the country."

"He wants to be a great ball security quarterback, a quarterback that makes good decisions and one that doesn't put us in a hole. He doesn't. He also does have a lot of confidence in himself and the plays that he can make and throws he can make. There are a lot of reasons why with the success he's had this year."

"He'd like to have a couple of those throws back. We'll get that solved and taken care of. It's hard to overcome turnovers to win football games. We've had three weeks where we've really struggled with that."

"It was a very good meeting in here last night. The seniors spoke with a lot of emotion. There was good focus. But it was just my gut and evaluation that it looked like we were a tired team overall. The best thing we've got going for us right now is an eight-day break for the players. We go right back to work as a staff, but the players need a break and they're going to get one. I don't even want them thinking about football right now."

"It's a downer for the seniors more than anything. They have brought such character and have a great passion about them. The class of this program and the character, behavior and all of those things is real important to me. Those things mean so much and it just hurts a lot to see those kids hurting down in that locker room. We've got to look forward to another game."

"I'd go anywhere to play another game right now. Bruce and I will work together along with the Big 12 Conference and do everything we can to get the best opportunity for this program. We do have a real fine team and a lot of snaps today we may not have played like that. It's a classy program and I think would be a very attractive team to bring to a bowl site."

"It seems like recently maybe he's done that a little bit. But we've got to do a better job of making sure he doesn't feel that pressure that he has to make a Superman play. He's got such talent and is a team guy. He doesn't want to hurt this team, believe me. It just kills him to hurt this team by turning it over and making a mistake."

Anthony Forrest:

"Anytime you make a big play, that's a momentum builder for your team. You can keep rolling as a team and that's exactly what they did. They made the plays they needed to make to win this game."

Tyson Smith:

"Practice-wise, we came out real focused but we came out in the game real flat and played like it."

"We'll get a week off and hopefully that's enough. It should be. A week of rest should be enough. I don't want to make any excuses, but everybody's banged up, tired and sick of hitting each other. We came out not focused. But you've got to give credit for them. They came back and beat us bad. It hurts. We had the lead and let it slip. This loss hurts us bad. We wanted to go out and play for these seniors."

Jack Whitver:

"We came out and were out of sync to begin with. We got ourselves in a hole, but we fought back. They played for 60 minutes and we didn't. That's the bottom line."

Zach Butler:

"It was pretty tough and really emotional. Being my last game it was extremely tough to lose like that. It was a game that we thought we could win. It just didn't happen. They played a lot tougher and wanted it more. We made some bad mistakes and things just didn't go our way."


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