Q: Last year, some things were said before the Iowa State game. Why are you guys carefully avoiding that this season?
A: What it boils down to is that football games are won on the field. I remember last year that all of that talk went on. We didn't play. They came. They were hungry. And they beat our ass. Football games are won on the field and both sides know that. You're not going to hear any bulletin board material from our side. And I guarantee you're not going to hear anything out of Ames. I think everybody in the state realizes the importance of this game.
Q: Have the coaches warned you about handing out bulletin board material?
A: Absolutely. I think it is on both sides. And any big game is like that. It doesn't need to be said at this point because what could we really say? What can I say? They beat us five years in a row. If they want to talk, I mean, they have every right to. They've proved that they belong with the big boys. They're an interesting team. They play hard. When we watch them on film, they're like out counterparts. They're like our mirror image. They're hard-working guys, like us. We're not highly-recruited guys. We're not the best athletes. But we play hard and we play to win. And that's how they play.
Q: How well do you know Coach McCarney?
A: Not that well because when we were here (in the '80s), I was younger. I knew that my dad and he were pretty good friends. But when we came back, it wasn't like we were having Christmas dinner over at his house anymore.
Q: Did he try to recruit you (laughter)?
A: He sent me the most basic letters early in the recruiting process. But I think everyone knew that that wasn't happening (laughter). But I respect him as a person and he's an excellent coach.
Q: Do you have a feeling of what it's going to be like to go in there?
A: Just from last year, getting to be a part of the game, it's a great atmosphere. It's what college football is all about. It's every football player's dream to be a part of something like that.
A: Do you know Austin Flynn at all?
A: No. Those guys are all a couple of years younger than me.
A: What was the locker room like last year after the Iowa State loss?
A: The best thing about last year was the way that we responded.
Q: Have the coaches warned you about giving them bulletin board material?
A: You don't win by talking. You try to win like men. That's been Iowa's standard. Since I got here, they've been teaching that. There's nothing that we can say that will have an effect on the game. So, there's no need to be talking about it.
Q: Do you guys pick up the intensity in preparation for Iowa State?
A: We've just got to go to practice tomorrow and see how things go. We have to watch film this week and prepare and just come out ready to play hard next week.
Q: Do you change anything you do?
A: We're going to play the same defense that we play every week. We're just going to play our game, and do what we have to do. We'll see what happens next week.
Q: You guys have lost five in a row to Iowa State. Do you change your approach?
A: As far as I'm concerned, I really don't look at the past. History is history. If you want to look at history, you can say that we beat them 20 out of the last 25 years. It's a whole different team. Every team has different leaders, a different mind set. If we go into this game looking the same way we did against Miami and Buffalo, preparing the same way, hopefully it's going to be a good weekend next weekend. This week, the preparation will be key for us.
Q: How do you keep the media coverage and the talk around campus in perspective?
A: Everyone is all excited about the Iowa State game. They want to talk about it. We just have to focus the way we did for Miami and Buffalo.
Q: Is the game bigger for an Iowa kid?
A: Yeah, it means a lot more for me. My grandpa (Dick Moore) played at Iowa State. We always had a rivalry when I was growing up. I always liked Iowa and he liked Iowa State. We'll probably talk about that. Just being an Iowa kid, I want to go out and beat Iowa State, not just this year but the next three years.
Q: Does your grandfather root a little bit for Iowa now?
A: He roots for us a lot now. He doesn't really root for Iowa State anymore.
Q: What do you guys do to keep out the distractions this week?
A: We stay together as a team. We go out there and practice hard together. The game is won in practice. If we practice hard every day this week, then we have a good opportunity to play well in the game.
Q: How different are the emotions for an instate rivalry game?
A: They've beaten us five times in a row, so we have to just go out there and play hard. We have to go out there and play with a chip on our shoulder. They have the upper hand on us right now. They're a good team.
Q: As an Iowa kid, how do you keep your emotions from getting the best of you this week?
A: I just have to focus on what I have to do to help the team out. I can't really let things get to me. I've just got to keep trying to improve.
Q: You have some new guys that haven't fully experienced this rivalry. How do you explain it?
A: They know. It's pretty strong around our practice field and complex. We all know how important it is. They all know that that's our No. 1 rival. We're going to put everything into this game.
Q: They've won 5 in a row. Do you guys need to prove something?
A: We're working hard. And we're going to go up there and give it our best and try to get a win.
Q: Was it difficult to focus on Buffalo with Iowa State looming?
A: No, it wasn't difficult because we haven't been talking about the Iowa State game.
Q: How much would it mean to snap the 5-game losing streak?
A: We would like to do that. But we're not going to do anything different. We're just going to prepare our game plan, go in and use it, and hopefully we come out victorious.
Q: How much did the second half of last year's game against Iowa State bother you?
A: It bothered me a lot because I was in a good groove. I felt that if I would have stayed healthy, the outcome would have been different.
Q: Do you guys use the pain you felt from that game last year to motivate you this week?
A: I just go out and do my thing every game. I don't point out things. I want to do good every game. Like with the Michigan game, I wasn't really pointing that game out last year as a game that I wanted to prove something. I just go out and do my job every week.
Q: What is the significance of next week?
A: I think the significance of next week is it's a nonconference game that will help us get prepared for in-conference games.
Q: So there's not heightened emotion for the Iowa State game?
A: We're going to be jacked up for this game.
Q: You're not going to say anything are you?
A: (Laughs). I don't really talk junk on the field, so I'm not going to do it here.
Q: Personally, how much have you thought about the Iowa State game from last year?
A: Last season, I thought about it a lot. But it's a new year. It's a new team.
Q: Is there an added significance because it's Iowa State and you haven't beat them in five years?
A: Of course there is. Nobody on our team has beaten Iowa State yet. That's the goal.
Q: How are things different when playing against Iowa State?
A: It's different. The intensity level picks up a lot. It's a whole different atmosphere. You still have to approach it like any other game. You've got to come in and take care of business.
Q: How do you shut out the hype and concentrate on football?
A: Whatever is said, you just let it go in one ear and out the other. You can't be bothered much by what people say. You just have to go out there and play football.
Q: Are you guys being guarded so you don't say the wrong thing about Iowa State that ends up on its bulletin board?
A: It's always like that. We don't say anything that will give the other team an edge or anything like that. We just go out and show it with our pads.
Q: Where does that come from?
A: That's from the coaching staff and the team leaders. It's just better to be about it than to talk about it.
Q: How much does the home field give them an advantage?
A: I don't think it gives them any advantage. Our players want to go into somebody else's home and take it over.