Coming off the 66-6 win over Texas Tech where the Red Raiders scored only on a fumble return and were able to muster only 270 yards. It was just the kind of game that Bill Young was wanting to see out of his defenders.
Still, Young was conservative in his comments on the defenders.
"I think we're a work in progress. I think there are some really good things about us," said Young, who saw his defense also force three turnovers at Tech. "We ball-hawk. We get after the ball and get turnovers. We have played the run really well and the pass really well. We've had some lapses but if you go back and look at our games, we score so many points that it's hard to keep that cutting edge with a 40-point lead or a 50-point lead. We've substituted liberally. We've put in our twos and if we're at home we'll put in our fours and fives."
Iowa State does not have an all-world offense or even one of the better offenses in the Big 12. They have switched quarterbacks from junior college transfer Steele Jantz to redshirt freshman Jared Barnett out of Garland, Texas. The Cyclones offense has changed a little in midstream.
"There's no question we will be focused," said Young of the task at hand. "Iowa State presents some different kinds of problems because they have a running quarterback and they are a running football team. They do have some play action and you get them in third down they'll put it down the field. You really have to be assignment-sound against them. They're going to run some zone read and zone read options and things that require you to take care of your business."
Then finally, it was back to the question can this defense play along well enough for the Cowboys to win the ultimate prize, a national championship.
"I don't think there's any question we can," said Young. "We've done a really good job. Obviously we can do better, but again, with an offense like ours and a kicking game like ours, we do our part and the sky is the limit."
With the next assignment in chilly Iowa on Friday night, and than and only then, everybody can get around to thinking openly and very verbally about Bedlam.