Q: Has this season come fast, or did the off season drag along?
Drew Tate: I would say both. It seems long, but it has not been that long. We are just ready to play and I think the coaches are getting eager to get out there to get things going on. You can see it in them in meetings and on the practice field. Everyone is getting excited?
Q: Do you remember the first game from last year?
Tate: A little.
Q: How different are things now?
Tate: I know what to expect now. I am calmer. I was just real excited getting my first start, running around. Now, this is my 13th start now. It's just a little different.
Q: Are you better prepared?
Tate: I think that I am. The scout team does a good job of showing us looks. Last year, I learned time management between school and football, so I am used to that now.
Q: Your confidence should also be higher.
Tate: Yeah, it is. Every week it got even higher. The way I look at it, is that we have to take one day at a time. Ball State is going to give us their best shot. They don't care that we are Iowa, they are going to give us the best they can.
Q: Coach had mentioned closing book on last year and all the talk in off season, excitement, etc, that you have put it behind you, collectively. But do you still get an emotional boost from all the added excitement, stadium, press, etc?
Tate: Not really. The crowds are the same every game, especially here. We have already practiced in the stadium under the new sound. That will not be new. We have been to the locker room, that is not new. Distractions are out of the way, and now its time to perform.
Q: So you are adjusted to the new sound system?
Tate: It is loud. I don't think it will be like that when we are on offense playing.
Q: What have you seen from Tony Moeaki this preseason?
Tate: He has nice hands, good feet. He is working hard like everybody else is. He is a good athlete for how big he is, and he can move well.
Q: Do you have a chemistry with him?
Tate: Yeah. Everyone is the same, pretty much. I am no different than Ferentz or Greenway. We are all the same.
Q: Coach talked about MAC schools and to not overlook them. He talked about printing out the list of games they have won against major teams. Do you really need that stuff?
Tate: We know what the MAC is and who they are. We played Roethlisberger here. The MAC schools have good players. I think that Bowling Green is pretty good. Miami of Ohio is a good team. Ball State is a good team. I can't remember their record last year, but this is a new year and a new team and they will have a new attitude.
Q: What was your focus this off-season?
Tate: Doing the running game better, knowing what kind of fronts that they give us in the run game and learning the verbiage what the inside player looks like, what the outside player looks like. I want to be more of an offensive coordinator on the field, pretty much.
Q: What kind of dimension does Albert add? He can almost split out some too.
Tate: He is great, a great athlete and has a great attitude. I can't imagine being who he is, but he is going into his third year and might be a freshman. He is going to bring us another weapon on offense to put points on the board and he will do what it takes.
Q: Not to give away playbook, are there things in there for him we have not seen?
Tate: I don't think so. There is no reason to change; we have won 31 games in three years, so we are going to do the same things we have been doing.