New week. We are obviously disappointed in the way we played last weekend at West Virginia, so ready to get back at it. The guys played hard, but not hard or physical enough as a team to match West Virginia’s aggressive play. We need to have that fixed by the time we hit the field Saturday night. We saw a lot of errors and a lot of things that need to be improved on, but excited for this week and getting after it.
On Iowa State
Iowa State is a really good team. The Cyclones are coached well, and are known for their toughness, and I am looking forward to getting our guys to answer. This team can run the ball, and are big and physical on the offensive side. On defense, they have probably one of the better back fields I have seen. They have a great corner, and they are definitely the conference’s best defense for a reason.
Iowa State knows how to develop its players and put them in schemes that make them perform at a high level. Iowa State has high draft picks, and I see the talent on this team, and the players don’t make a lot of mistakes when it comes to assignments and technique. We are going to have to find a way to compete against this team, we need to match their fight. Both teams are sitting at 5-4, and we are both trying to be bowl-eligible, so there is a lot to play for in this matchup.
On the offensive line
Our offensive line is not getting the job done, that’s for sure. We aren’t going to hide behind anything, they need to do better. Our performance as a team against West Virginia was embarrassing for everybody, including our offensive line, so hopefully they can learn from that game and not allow it to show up again. It comes with a level of toughness and accountability from our guys.
On Player accountability
Playing time is one of the ways we hold players accountable because nobody has a right to be on the field, that is something they have to earn based on performance. We just want guys who do their jobs and keep each other accountable. There are a few ways to get that done; one way is to demand it as coaches, and another is playing time. If one guy isn’t doing his job and executing at a high enough level, we will put someone else in who will. We need to start seeing better production on the field.
On Concerns with rushing yards given up
I am really concerned about how many rushing yards we have given up in the last two games, especially against West Virginia. We have had players who can make those plays, so we need to evaluate that and figure out what’s going on. We have depth and a lot of guys we can play, but for some reason it’s not getting done, and we need to do something about it.