Syracuse Week: Drew Tate

Drew Tate met with the media on Tuesday. Read what Iowa's signal caller had to say about preparing to play in a dome, improvements to be made from last week, opening the year on the road, inescapable injury rumors, and much more in this premium transcript.

Q: How many plays did you leave on the field on Saturday?

Drew Tate: For me? I thought I left probably about 4 plays out there that could have been a lot better. Calvin was one, two touchdown passes I know. To Chandler, and to Fresh on one of them. There were a couple passes in there I thought I could have got, but I didn't. The good thing is that we've got another week, another game.

Q: Playing indoors this week.

Tate: Yeah, I've played indoors before. I like it, there's no wind, nothing I have to deal with. I'm pretty excited about it. Everyone says it's loud and there's no A/C there, but we just have to work through those distractions.

Q: What do you think of the new rule, the kickoff and the time running faster, can you tell?

Tate: No. Couldn't tell anything. Didn't do anything for us. Except right before halftime we waited until the clock ran down, that's about it.

Q: All these stadiums have big screens on them. When do you choose to look up at those screens, and what are you looking for?

Tate: I hardly ever look at them, to tell the truth. Maybe if there's something I missed I need to see on replay. Usually the things I need to see, they don't show, because they only show the play, they're not looking at other stuff. I don't really look at them much.

Q: How is your preparation different for a road game this week?

Tate: I probably have to get with the receivers more, talk to them about hand signals, things like that, for the volume. It'll be our first road game this year for me, and a first road game for a lot of guys, so it's going to be very important that we pay attention to detail, and communicate on the same page.

Q: Is it easier to focus, sometimes, on the road, without the distractions of tickets, kind of sequestered a little bit more?

Tate: Nah, I'd say it's easier going on the road as far as some other stuff, but you just have to pay more attention to detail on the road. It's hard to win on the road anywhere in the country, but especially going to Syracuse, it's not going to be easy.

Q: Did you do any trades with Albert, anybody using your tickets?

Tate: No. I'm using mine.

Q: Two years ago, you opened down at Arizona State, last year you opened at Iowa State, road games, not able to win those. Do those stick in your mind at all?

Tate: No, it doesn't stick in my mind. I look back, and Arizona State, it was pretty much men against boys that day. Pretty much last year, I think, I got distracted a lot, and I think a lot of other guys did. Third time's a charm.

Q: What will Herb coming back mean for you guys?

Tate: I think it's going to mean a lot. I think he's going to give us an extra guy, a guy with experience. I don't really need to be with him as much as the younger guys, but he's going to help us tremendously in the pass game. Kenny coming back is going to help us even more on the defense.

Q: What have you heard about playing in the Carrier Dome and how it's different from other stadiums?

Tate: They said it's just loud and there's no A/C. Anywhere on the road, it's loud. There's no A/C there, they said hopefully it's overcast, but that's pretty much it. It's no different playing some place like Ohio State or Penn State.

Q: You've played in a dome before, the Minnesota game a few years ago. Does that help you get ready for the atmosphere a little bit?

Tate: I would say so. We had to work on a lot of things that day and I'm sure it's not going to be any different. We played well up there. I just think that if we worry about what our assignments are and our responsibilities, all that other stuff will take care of itself.

Q: Last season it took you guys until the Purdue game before you scored your first offensive touchdown on the road. What are you working on this year to get ready for the road, even more?

Tate: I hadn't even thought about it. We've got a game plan, we're going to execute and do the best we can. If we can score, if we can't, I guess we can't and that's not a good thing. Hopefully we'll score.

Q: Any thoughts on playing in the Carrier Dome? I don't assume you've ever been in there?

Tate: Yeah, I've played in domes. They're all the same. It's indoors, there's no sun, there's no wind, it's loud.

Q: Does that affect audibles?

Tate: Not really. You've got hand audibles, vocal audibles, there's ways around all that stuff.

Q: You said Rafael needed to be a little louder, is that going to be more important this week?

Tate: Probably. It wasn't affecting me, it was just some of the other guys that were talking about it. He's going to be fine. It'll be his first road game, obviously, and he's probably going to be nervous too. After that first series, he'll probably be fine and he'll just start playing.

Q: Albert said after the game last week that you guys didn't really open up the full offensive playbook against Montana. Can we expect to see a little more of the offense this week?

Tate: We couldn't really open up against Montana because of the way they were playing. We're not trying to hold anything back, save it for anybody, we're trying to win games that we're involved with. There's a lot of things that Montana were doing to where we couldn't do a lot of our stuff. If it presents itself this week, it'll be the same way. But hopefully, with the preparation this week, we'll see. It'll help the plays and stuff like that.

Q: How do you feel, physically?

Tate: Fine (Laughs).

Q: 100%?

Tate: Yeah. (Laughs) I only got tackled once. I'm good.

Q: Where do these rumors come from? You seem to be the target?

Tate: It's Iowa. People just gossip, I don't know. I hope I make it to all my classes this week so no one thinks I got kidnapped. Gosh, that'd be scary. I don't know. I guess there's just not much going on. People have got to talk about what I'm done. I don't know.

Q: Do you get tired of that stuff?

Tate: It's kind of sad, really. People say all this stuff. Do you not really have anything better else to do? It's just what they want to do. I don't really care, it doesn't bother me, I don't lose any sleep at night. What goes on outside this building, don't really care much.

Q: How do you catch wind of it? Us asking about it?

Tate: Pretty much.

Q: Buddies of yours coming up and go, "Hey, I hear you had a ...."

Tate: No, no. Just y'all and the newspapers. It's kind of funny though, it's kind of amusing. It's not that bad.

Q: Was the sprained ankle one your favorite?

Tate: No. I don't know. I think the broken leg one was funny, but I know the whole story behind that, which makes it even funnier.

Q: A couple teammates there?

Tate: Yeah. It's pretty funny, actually.

Q: Was that the Capital One Bowl?

Tate: Yeah. (Laughs) Sorry to disappoint. I didn't really care much. It was Cy (Phillips) that got that one going. He was just joking and forgot to say he was joking. Then Roth ended up calling me because they all live together. That was a long time ago. That was then, this is now. But I'm doing good now, I feel good.


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