McCarney prepares for `big game’

Zac Reicks

With perhaps the biggest game of the season on the horizon, ISU head coach Dan McCarney has quite a few things on his mind.

The coach found time to talk with the Daily and share some of his thoughts about last week’s loss to Kansas State, his defense and the upcoming challenge of playing No. 21 Colorado.

ZR: Coming off of the Kansas State game, how has the practice gone this week, attitude wise as well?

DM: Real good, everyone is disappointed and embarrassed and ready to get on the field and play much better this week, so practice has gone well.

ZR: Stopping the run has been a problem for your defense so far this year. Colorado has a backfield that is comparable to yours talent wise-except that they all have put up the numbers. What have you seen from them offensive wise that worries you?

DM: I see an outstanding offensive line, some future NFL offensive linemen and tight ends blocking and great backs. They play four running backs that can all perform. It is a really, really outstanding group.

ZR: This is another chance for you team to get a win against a ranked opponent which is something you haven’t been able to do yet in your tenure at Iowa State. Do you feel any added pressure coming into this weekend’s game?

DM: No, none whatsoever. I just want to win a football game and could care less whether they are ranked 25th or 130th. This is a game we need to come back and play our best. After last Saturday we just want to get out and play a game. We are anxious to play against a top program like Colorado.

ZR: Is this the most important game of the year so far with your team on a two-game losing streak and struggling a little bit?

DM: They’re all big. Believe me, every one is big and the one after this one is big and the one after that will be big. We approach them all the same and they are all very important. There are a lot of teams right now that don’t have an opportunity to go on and extend their season if they finish strong, and we are really anxious to try and do that.

ZR: Can you tell me why people still don’t respect this program even after everything you did last year with going 9-3 and winning a bowl game?

DM: I don’t feel that way at all. I’ve got great respect for the kids and the program we’ve built and if other people don’t respect it I could care less.

ZR: Do you think that because of the poor records we have had over the past 20 years could have something to do with it.

DM: It might be. That might be very valid. You know why. You have to have success and sustain it. I don’t worry about what other people think. I know that we have a good program here with good kids and good coaches and we are going to continue to build on that.

ZR: Were you disappointed with the attendance at all this past week?

DM: Our fans have been great and we are hoping to have a really good crowd this week and get this place cranked up. We are 9-2 in our last 11 night games and it seems to bring out the best in our fans and our team so hopefully we have a good night.

ZR: How big an accomplishment would it be for you and your staff to beat a nationally recognized team like Colorado with all the tradition and success that they have had from the past?

DM: Real big. We beat them out at there place last year for the first time in 18 years. It is always hard to beat Colorado because they are so talented and have a great program. Our kids are looking forward to the challenge and it should be a great game. I know my football team will play a lot better than they did last week.

ZR: Thanks Coach and good luck.

DM: You bet, thank you.