Tate: This Iowa Team has Best Chemistry

Drew Tate has played a lot of football in his day. He started nearly 50 varsity games in Texas during his record setting high school career, and 26 games while at Iowa. The 2004 Hawkeye team won 10 games, a Big Ten title and the Cap One Bowl. But Tate said after Saturday's game against ISU, that this year's team has the best chemistry of them all, and that it's not even close.

Q: Was the game plan to thrown the ball more today (Saturday)?

Drew Tate: We figured that they would load the box and force us to throw and make our young receivers beat us, which they did. Syracuse did that last week. They tried to take away the running game. When you pack everyone in there it's hard to wiggle your way out. When we spread it out, we have a better chance to run, that is my opinion.

Q: After watching Bret Meyer's good first half, did you take that as a challenge?

Tate: Not really. I was doing fine myself, and so was the offense. We were moving the ball. I think we had maybe two three and outs. We were moving the ball. It acme down to me not completing the passes I should have, because if I did, we would have had 21 or 28 points.

Q: Are you sore at all?

Tate: No, I feel great. The medical staff did a great job and we will continue to watch it and make sure its alright.

Q: Did you take a cortisone shot before the game?

Tate: No

Q: Did you feel rusty at all in this game?

Tate: Not really, I practiced all week. I threw the pick, and I should not have thrown that one. That was a momentum switch for them and I thought they would get down and the defense did a great job. They took care of me.

Q: What were the numbers you had written on your arm (22 & 25)?

Tate: Calvin (Davis) and Marcus (Paschal). They are seniors and very good friends of mine. Calvin, that is unformatted what he has been through since I have been here. The worst luck and athlete can have. I don't know if he was at the game or not. I felt so bad for him. They are very good friends of mine, Marcus as well, not being able to play. He is like me on the defense, he calls the shots and he is a seniors. I was playing for them, and we had the mark on the helmet for Mike's dad. It was a very emotional game.

Q: Did you want to have a big game this week, because of your getting knocked out early last year?

Tate: Not really. I knew if I could play within myself, everything would be fine. I have been successful playing, and I have been successful playing within myself. Last year, I think I tried to do more than what I should have done. It's easier playing with 11 men as 1, and I got away from that last year. I have been on some good teams in my life, but as far as this team, there is more team chemistry than anything I have been on and it's not even close. We might have lost that last year. We don't have a Greenway, Hodge or Gallery. We are all the same and we are playing together having accepted that.

Q: Was it a relief beating Iowa State and getting a monkey off your back?

Tate: It was a great challenge for us as a team to grow, because we needed that. We are 3-0 now and it was a great game to start a big thing, because it will not get easier after this. There is no monkey. It was a win, it was a big win and we are excited.

Q: Talk about your confidence in Scott Chandler. He had a big catch in the second quarter.

Tate: I saw it. It was a hell of a catch. There is nothing I can do, he made the catch. He makes things happen. We have guys out there making things happen and a lot that people don't see. Like I said, that is just us playing. We are a very close team and we are getting better each week, even in practice.

Q: Do you feel like you have taken a bigger leadership role on this team?

Tate: Umm, maybe just because I am a senior. Coach Ferentz is big on senior leadership, and that is fine. I believe in that, but in my position, I felt like I was a leader when I was a sophomore. Guys looking at you wanting you to tell them what to do. They know their responsibilities, but it helps to have a leader. I am not the only one that stands out. We are all working together. We have 11 leaders on offense and that is what you need.

Q: Was their any more emphasis placed on this game than normal?

Tate: Ummm….I don't know. It's a huge game. They play extremely well and tough against us. It's a big game for the state, and for the media and everyone gets it going. We look at it, we don't want to be all about beating Iowa State. That is not what we are about. We want to win, but we want to win in the Big Ten and get to a January bowl game.

Q: Was it a hard week, overcoming the injury to Calvin and then Mike Klinkenborg's father passing?

Tate: Everyone is playing together, and it takes everyone to win. That is what we have done. It's unreal how Klink played, and doing what he did. You can't ask any better of him. We don't know what he is going through, but we think we have an idea and we are there for him. The way he played, you can't ask for any better. It was like how Bret Farve played when his old man passed away, he had his best game. It takes all guys to do the same thing, to work together and that is how you win.

Q: You guys had a lot of quick passes in the flat. Was that something you wanted to do?

Tate: Yeah, that is what we wanted to do. In the first half we did that, in the second half we faked them and went over the top and things like that.

Q: You were animated at the start of the fourth quarter. What were you telling your linemen?

Tate: I think we needed one yard. Iowa football, we are a run first team. 60 run and 40 pass. That is what Iowa football is big on, the big linemen and kill them up front and run. That is what I was telling them, we need one yard, that is Iowa football, and it is. That is the way the big ten plays.


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