Energized Once Again

Iowa State coach Dan McCarney spoke with the conference media Monday morning via teleconference one day after his Cyclones accepted a bid to play in the Dec. 31 Humanitarian Bowl against Boise State. Mac's squad, 7-6 overall, will face a highly potent Bronco offense that led the nation in scoring offense and total offense. Here are some of the highlights of McCarney's teleconference.

Opening comments:

"We're honored and very excited to have a chance to go out and play in the Crucial.com Humanitarian Bowl. It's going to be a tremendous challenge. Boise State's ranked 15th and 18th in America, and have won the WAC Conference and went 8-0. Dan Hawkins has done a tremendous job out there. It's a big challenge for us."

"We're excited about it. It's the first time in history we've gone to three in a row. It's only fitting with the road schedule we've played this year we're going on the road again to play a team in their home stadium and they're ranked. They're leading the nation in scoring and total offense. They have a tremendous football team. It'll be a great challenge, we're excited about it and got a head start on practices this past weekend."

"Congratulations to all of the other teams in the Big 12 Conference that went on. I think there are eight of us going to postseason play and I know it's a lot of hard work by a lot of people. There isn't a better conference in America than the Big 12. I've been saying since our Media Day. It's as good as it gets."

"I just heard that Bill Snyder and Les Miles were picked Big 12 coaches of the year, respectively, by the coaches and AP. Congratulations to both of them. They're outstanding coaches."

On any other team nationally that faces challenge quite like Iowa State's:

"I can't imagine it. It's a very big advantage for Boise State. It would be like having a bowl game here in Ames, Iowa, at Jack Trice Stadium, calling it a bowl game and then inviting someone in to play. That's a great advantage for the home team. But it's a real good opportunity for us to go to a stadium and state we've never played a football game in, knowing we're going to have to really be at our best and then some to have a chance to win this game and bring back our second bowl championship."

On playing in Boise compared to Ames:

"I would assume the conditions might be pretty similar. We're fortunate right now there is no snow on the ground. We got all three practices this weekend outdoors. Long range for next week it looks like we'll be able to stay outdoors. We can't imitate the blue field, but we can imitate some cold. We'll try to stay outdoors as much as we can to get ready."

On what effect it will have on players going up against Boise State:

"I don't think we'll have any trouble with the focus for our team anyway, but especially when you go into somebody else's home stadium and play a bowl game like that on national television. It's got to bring out the best in all of us. We've played Florida State away from Ames and they win the ACC. We played Iowa away from Ames and they won the Big 10. We played Oklahoma away from Ames and they win the Big 12 South. Texas and Kansas State are in the top 10. Colorado wins the Big 12 North. We're kind of used to going places and playing the best on the road."

On what he knows about Broncos:

"We're just beginning to try and take a look at them. We didn't know until yesterday where and who the opponent would be. They just had a phenomenal year and put up some unbelievable offensive numbers. Their running back rushed for over 1,500 yards and 23 touchdowns. They use two quarterbacks and combined they put up 3,500 yards and 30 touchdowns. They've just gone up and down the field on people. I think all of us know Fresno State and Hawaii are real fine teams and they blew both of them out. It will be a real challenge for our defense to slow that team down."

On how long it will take to get a better read on them:

"We can get all of the breakdowns done within a couple of days. The game will be played three weeks from tomorrow. Time-wise we're in real good shape like most teams are. We have good preparation time, but we need every minute of it as we can in preparation and mixing in recruiting this time of year."

On any damage control being done after earlier comments on Boise:

"That was one of the goals that we had set as a team, to go somewhere hot in December. I don't think there's any problem with it. We've got great respect for them and are proud to be going to a bowl game again. There are a lot of teams, coaches and players in the country that would like to have the opportunity we have right now. We're really looking forward to it. I think it's going to be a real good matchup."

On what he's heard from basketball program's experience a few years ago:

"They said it's a great town. They don't have a real good memory of the experience out there losing to Hampton. But everybody said Boise was a great town and the people were fantastic. We visited with some people from Clemson and Cincinnati, and they said the hospitality could not have been any better. It was fabulous and the people were great. It will be a real good trip for both of us."

On going to bowl game after playing toughest schedule in nation:

"I think a lot of people looked at this schedule before hand and figured the Cyclone bowl game was going to be the trip to Kansas City with Florida State back in August. We fooled a few of them. We had a bowl trip the beginning of the season and are going to have another one in December. I'm really happy for these young kids. They really deserve it. We have accomplished a lot this year against an unbelievable schedule."

"Now everybody wants to finish right, wants to win that last game and leave a great taste in their mouth. We've had two trips in a row, brought back a trophy from one and didn't the other. We're going to try to get a trophy back here with this one."

On mindset of team going into bowl preparations:

"I think it's good. We sure would like to have finished a little stronger, but I haven't seen another team in the country yet that had to play the schedule, especially the teams away from Ames that we had to play this year. That has a lot to do with struggling as we did towards the end of the year. I sense a lot of confidence and great respect for Boise State from my staff and players. I anticipate a great matchup and think this is going to be a heck of a football game. We're very much looking forward to it."

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