Not just another season for ISU

Marcus Charter

Last season the ISU football team was the kid at the prom all primed for the final dance with his crush. He had taken care of all of the preparations and plans, but when the last song came around he was in the bathroom wiping spilled punch off his blazer.

This season is different. Iowa State is freshly dressed and ready and waiting when the final moments come. What a difference a year makes.

Passes that were somehow caught by opponents last year are being swatted down and intercepted. Holes in the line, that were at times a bit too small, are welcoming through Mack trucks. Defensive ends that just didn’t get to the QB last year are a step quicker in delivering their blows. Things are definitely starting to click.

5-1 is nice to say isn’t it? The loss is definitely a blemish, but we can take solace in the fact it came at the hand of the biggest beast in the land. What exactly is possible for this years team? I am willing to say that 7-4 is totally realistic, and there is a really good shot at 8-3.

It is no fluke that Iowa State is in this position. Coach McCarney has been positioning his troops for about four years to be at the very point they are at now.

For those of you who have been patient with Coach Mac, thank you.

There have been some very rough times. Last season’s play calling against Colorado and this year’s struggles with the place kicking made people wonder if McCarney was the right man for the job, but he definitely appears to be. His team is behind him 100 percent, an obvious sign that whatever doubt they had in him previously has been wiped off the slate.

He made the right call on Saturday by going with Carl Gomez, whose kicking played a huge role in ISU’s victory. His team has won three consecutive road games, and it is only one victory away from a trip to a bowl game. After the drought we have had, even the bowl sounds heaven sent.

I find the whole thing humorous. Fans have been thirsting for a winning season like water in the desert, and now that we are experiencing it nobody seems to care.

THREE ROAD WINS in a row, c’mon people, that is impressive. Is it possible to actually sell out this game on Saturday? What are we saying to bowl representatives, who are coming to scout ISU’s football enthusiasm, if we can’t sell out our own home stadium in the biggest game in a long time.

Yes, I know we just had the biggest game against Big Red, but we have to keep the motivation high. Come out on Saturday and support the football team. Tickets are only $9 for students. If that is too pricey take a page out of Altoona’s Winifred Skinner’s book and go roadside to collect some cans. 180 cans buys you a seat.

If that fails give Dave Crum a call at the ticket office and beg for a seat. He’s a good guy.

Allow me to highlight some of the things that have stuck out so far this fall: Have you ever seen an ex-quarterback hit like Derrick Walker? Bad choice by Mac to ever have him at quarterback. Smart choice to move him where he can hit.

Andy Stensrud has been the man up front. I don’t know who was coaching him this summer, but they grabbed him by the ears and retrained his every thought. He is now an offensive lineman through and through, but do not be surprised to see a lineman eligible pass to Andy before the season is done.

Sage Rosenfels has done what he is suppose to do: Win games. At the beginning of the year it seemed like Sage had been over hyped by the people who were touting him as one of the best senior QB’s in the country, but after five wins it doesn’t seem so far fetched anymore. He has made very few mistakes so far, and he is simply doing what he has to do.

The receivers are slowly becoming one big bunch of play makers. Everybody knew about Anthony and Moses, neither of whom have failed to impress. It is the other guys who are greasing the gears. Craig Campbell has been huge lately. Big catches against Iowa, Nebraska and Okie St. have moved him up from the “other guy,” to the “go-to guy.”

Lane Danielsen and Mike Banks have also contributed heavily to the offense. Lane could go the rest of the year without doing a dang thing, and he would still be the man after last Saturday. Mike Banks has been acting like his old high school mascot all year. He’s been a Bulldog.

The secondary is playing solid football. Thank you Dustin Avey for swatting down the Hail Mary. Catholics everywhere are mad, but we love you in Ames.

Reggie Hayward – calm down big guy! I don’t know what to say about him. He is playing out of his mind. Say hello to A&M’s QB on Saturday when you are laying on top of him.

The list of bright spots could go on and on. The general public conception is that Coach Mac said something to light a fire under this teams behind but that simply isn’t the case. The product that we are witnessing on the field these days is a by-product of a plan that has taken this long to accrue. It is time to stop questioning Coach McCarney and this team’s ability. Both are definitely getting the job done.

ISU is 5-1. Say it to yourselves a couple of time real slow. Sounds good doesn’t it? Come on out Saturday at 2:30. I heard there is going to be a bowling party.