Iowa State vs. Boise State Quotebook

Iowa State head coach Dan McCarney and a few select players, as well as Boise State's Dan Hawkins spoke with the press following Tuesday's Humanitarian Bowl in Boise. Here are a few of their comments.

Dan McCarney's opening comments:

"Congratulations to Coach Hawkins and the Broncos of Boise State. They had a tremendous season and did a great job today in winning the game and going out as bowl champions. There are going to be very few 12-win teams in America and Boise State's got one of them. I was very impressed with them coming into this game and was very impressed with them watching from the sidelines. They're well-coached, and play with great fundamentals and passion."

"We sure aren't happy with the finish of losing the game today, but I really enjoyed coaching this football team. I felt at halftime we had a chance to win the game. They had some short fields in the second half and put themselves in position from a field-position standpoint to put some points on the board, executed and did a real good job. We struggled in the second half on both sides of the football. Boise State was clearly the better football team."

On Seneca Wallace's first-quarter injury:

"He wasn't 100 percent. He hyper-extended his knee. Somebody ran into his leg real early in the game. It was not real sore, but it was stiff. The doctors gave him the OK to play, but he was not quite 100 percent. Boise State had a lot to do with it. I don't want to put his knee being sore as the problem. Their defensive backs played really well. Even when we protected well, which we did a lot, we could not get open. Their coverage was really good."

On discussing ineligibility of JaMaine Billups, Marc Timmons and Collin Menard:

"We had mentioned it to them last night. I addressed it for about 20 seconds. I didn't make a big deal out of it, because it's not a big deal. It would not have affected the game much today. Boise State was clearly the better team. We've got plenty of guys on our team, plenty of depth and plenty of players that should play better. It was not a major disruption."

On Boise State's offense in second half:

"They had a good rhythm to their calls, executed some good things and got some key third-down conversions. They got some nice plays on first down to get them in some second-and-shorts. That was when they were at their best offensively."

On series in late third quarter when Anthony Forrest blocked punt:

"We blocked a punt. We felt like we could get one, went after it and blocked it. That gave us some good field position and you could feel the momentum swing. The tradition we have at running back may be unmatched in the country with the few times that we ever fumble it. But it happened. Mike Wagner's human. They forced it and knocked it out. Then here goes the momentum right back to Boise State. That was a real big play."

On Forrest's play overall:

"He played real well. He got the blocked punt and made some real big plays for us. He's a guy that has a lot of potential and a bright future, since he's only a sophomore. He's only scratching the surface of his abilities and potential for the future. That bodes well for Anthony and us over the next few years."

On senior class playing final game:

"That's a great bunch of young men. There were 14 of them and only seven of them played. We'll always have bigger senior classes than the one we had this year, but I don't know if we'll ever have one that I've been more proud of. We've won 23 games over the last three seasons and most of those seniors were there for all of that and had a lot to do with it. You don't have to be great in numbers, but if you're great in character and have a great example on and off the field, you can build a great program."

"Seneca's about as special a young man as I've been around. I told Seneca in the locker room just now that you're going to play a lot of years of football and I don't know that I'll ever been around a young man that I'm more proud of how he's handled success and adversity. He's even a better young person than he is a quarterback."

On turning this bowl experience into a positive for future:

"We got a lot of extra practices, an extra spring football with the amount of extra workouts. We improved as a football team and with a lot of the younger guys. We'll build on that. The final record of 7-7 is not what we're looking for. We will make some adjustments in the program."

"A lot of the values, heart of the program, plan and things that we do—we're not going to change because we know how to win. But there are some things we have talked about in the last few weeks with some adjustments we will make for the future. We've got to be a bigger and stronger football team. We've got to get more physical. I've counted 62 kids that have got to get bigger between now and March. That's training table, weight lifting and taking responsibility for not being big and strong enough."

"But a lot of good things still came out of this season. We have still shown that we have a good program in place and a real bright future. A majority of this team will be back for next season."

Boise State head coach Dan Hawkins on team's offensive struggles early:

"We were just misfiring a little bit in the first half. We had a hard time completing some throws and making some things that way. There have been very few games this year when we've gone three-and-out, and we had a couple of series there when we did. But we were just able to convert and make a couple of plays, particularly on third down. Once we got into a rhythm we were fine."

On what it means to beat a team like Iowa State:

"It was big in the standpoint of getting on national TV again and beating a team from a bigger conference. We finished out the season like we wanted to. It was tremendously awesome. We have encountered new hurdles at Boise State and will continue to do that. This was just another one in the progression of what I believe can be a top-25 program down the road. We have the ability to do that in this community."

"We tried to snug up a little bit on third down and start pressing a little bit more instead of staying off. We had a few gap errors in that first half and just kind of cleaned a couple of things up. More than that, we had to calm those guys down and get them to play."

Jordan Carstens on juniors taking over leadership roles: "After every senior's last game, it's like the junior class steps in and it's their team now. They're the seniors. Once this game is over, we kind of took ownership of this team and will see what we can do with it. It's sad. A lot of people were disappointed, because we didn't do what we wanted in this game. We were disappointed, because we've been doing this together for a long time. It's sad, but we can't look down on some of the things we accomplished this season, too."

Atif Austin on playing his final ISU game:

"It's very difficult. It's not the way I wanted to end my career at Iowa State, but I'm happy that I had the opportunity to play at Iowa State and go to three bowl games and help turn the program around. I'll look back and say we did accomplish a lot of things here."

"There was a lot of emotion in the locker room and people were heart-broken. It's hard to pinpoint what happened. We expected to win. This is not the Iowa State of the old, it's the Iowa State of the new. We don't expect that to happen. We definitely feel it when we take a loss."

Zach Butler on experience in Boise:

"We had a great time. The people of Boise were unbelievable and very hospitable. We had a good time and good practices. Everybody laid their hearts on the line. Boise State's 11-1 and WAC Champs. They played better in the second half and that's what it came down to."

Butler on his career as a Cyclone:

"We were 1-10 the year I signed with Iowa State and now we've been to three bowl games. I'm going to leave with a lot of great memories and good things we accomplished this year. We played the toughest schedule in school history and in the bowl game we had to play at somebody's field who was ranked 15th."

Mike Wagner on offense's backs being against the wall in second half:

"Every time we got the ball, I just couldn't believe we were starting off at the 20-yard line again. We didn't get past the 50 until we scored again. We had trouble moving the ball. They were getting pressure and I think that was a problem. We've got to be productive in some way and we couldn't find a way. Boise State contained every hole and played solid defense."

Seneca Wallace on play he got hurt:

"One of their guys was crawling and it seemed like he went straight for my leg. That's just the breaks of it. I felt alright and tried to go out there and do what I could. It hurts a little bit right now. It stretched it out a little too much. It's nothing serious. They were doing a lot of talking out there, but it didn't bother me at all. I just wanted to go out there trying to make plays."

"I really couldn't say if it was clean or not. Everybody that saw it—they can be the judge."

Wallace on what's next for him:

"I've got some All Star Games to play, but right now I just want to get back healthy, get off my feet and get some rest. Then I can go into the All Star Games and perform the best that I can."

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