It was good to get a win in a big series for us. The Iowa State-Iowa game is always a big game for both teams. It was a hard fought contest, just like we expected going into the game. It went down the to the last series of the ballgame. Our defense played really well and they helped preserve the win for us. We are just glad to get out of there with a win.
Kirk on whether or not injuries to the team create morale problems
There is really not much that anyone can do about it. If you are involved in football and every sport, it's just one of the risks that are involved. All that you can do is try and move forward and hope that some great stories come out of it. We have had instances of that in the past and we are hoping for that right now; that some other guys will step up and develop and help carry the load a little bit.
On playing a game at 9PM central time impacting the routine and play of his team, and if they will do anything different to prepare
I don't know what you can do. We are not going to make a big deal of it, other than shifting our schedule going into the game. Instead of having our meetings and workout on Friday during day hours, we will shift that back (to the night) as that will give us a chance to get under the lights at their stadium, get a feel for the grass, that type of thing. We have played at night before, so we will treat it like any other night game we have played in before.
On if he likes having a non-conference road game before league play begins
I saw somebody's schedule, I can't remember who it was…Is somebody playing seven or eight home games this year? It must be an independent team, but anyway…I would take those anytime you get it. But when you are in a conference, you can't do that. Common sense dictates that you are going to play on the road at least one time before you get into league play. To answer your question, I think you need to do that and get a test run before you get into conference play.
On whether or not he enjoys playing night games
Yes and no. To me, you play whenever you play. Last year, we played them in Iowa City and that was a five or six o'clock kickoff. That is not that big of a deal. I think where it impacts you more is traveling back afterwards. Those night games, my preference has been to have those at home so you let the other guy travel at night. But in this case, we are the suckers. I think our guys will get to bed between 5:30 and 6:30am Sunday morning. I think we have to be real careful about what we do here the days after to make sure that we do not lose the team during the week.
On Drew Tate after two games
He is doing some good things. He made a real step forward last week, in that he played the entire 60 minutes instead of a half a game. Somebody asked me last week about what grade we gave him in our opener, and I said ‘incomplete'; that was an easy answer there, since he could not finish the game. We like what we see. We have been high on Drew since he got on campus; he is young in a lot of ways and still has some things he has to clean up on. He is real spirited and plays with a lot of heart. We are thrilled that he is on our football team.
Question from a Chicago reporter: I understand that there are going to be as many as 10,000 Iowa fans at game. Can your players tell that they are their?
I think they can tell, and I think that number is probably very conservative. I think that number was based on them giving us 4,000 or 5,000 tickets, and then I think there were another 4,000 or 5,000…the total was 9,000 that came through our University or through Iowa zip codes. There are a lot of Iowans that don't live in Iowa anymore. I think that is true of a lot of Northern States. We have an awful lot of Iowa natives in the Arizona area.
I go back, we played in Tucson twice when I was an assistant here in the 1980's and we had a great following. I think this will be the same. Typically when you play schools that are located in NFL towns, if you look at attendance figures, those numbers are not great. I think that I just read that the ASU-Arizona game had 55,000 last year. So I think they are already predicting 65,000 for this game, and obviously we (the Iowa fans) have something to do with it, more so because of the transplanted Iowans that live there.
Our guys do feed off of that, there is no question. We have great representation when we travel to bowl games, and our players really appreciate that. We have the best fans in the world. They are extremely loyal and they travel with us real well.
On whether or not Iowa State's success with blitz schemes will be something future opponents try and emulate
We seem to be a blitz magnet team. It has been that way every year. When we have our strategic meetings, we go through the dog pressure percentages. We typically get more than the numbers say we should expect. That is nothing we didn't expect last week, because that is how Iowa State's defense is built. Some defensive schemes are just like that.
Q: Given that Tate faced heavy pressure, does that make you extra pleased with his performance, given that the lone turnover was a tipped ball?
Yeah, no question. One thing about Drew, he is typically not going to sit back there and hold the football. He reads things pretty quickly and he is not a guy that will deliberate a lot back there and makes good decisions. Whatever the personality of the defense that you are playing, the challenge is to be able to handle it appropriately. If you play a blitz team, and you handle it appropriately, you might have a chance to get an edge. Every game poses its own challenges.