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Meet the Press: Football Discusses Iowa State


 Head Coach Art Briles

Opening Statement...
"The way we looked at this after our team meeting yesterday is that we've played six games. So, we're cutting the season into two halves. We've had our first half of the season, and now we're going into our second half. I don't know if it's a good analogy or not, but I use why divorces happen - there's a variety of reasons, but sometimes it's because you hear things, you see things, you do things, and sometimes it amounts over time. Then it goes to a point to where you think you can get away from it. What we're trying to do is start cleaning. We have six games left, and those six games will determine our football season."

On the identity of the defense...
"Identity? Probably just the same as our football team and our offensive and special teams. Whatever they do to help contribute to the win. So, I don't think that we've established an identity as a team, offense or defense. I think that a lot of people would have a hard time answering that question at this stage of the season."

On whether or not the next game is pivotal after three losses...
"Facts don't lie. We live in a factual world and a factual system, and that's why I'm saying we're starting to clean. That's the way we're looking at it. If you have memories, the good ones you retain, and the bad ones, you learn from. That's the way we're approaching this situation. The towel is firmly draped over our shoulder. It's not going anywhere. It's a situation that you can spin it and make it bleak or you can make it hopeful. It just depends how you spin it, and I'm not going to spin it either way. We're going to go to Ames, Iowa, and try to win a football game, just like we went to Austin, Texas, and just like we went to Morgantown, West Virginia, and just like we played in Waco two weeks ago. That's our job - to go win games."

On what he's been most disappointed with through the first six games...
"Not winning every game is the most disappointing thing. We understand we're in a tough league, and we need to be a tough member of that league. So, that's kind of bottom line facts. But, like I said, we could find a lot of disappointments, and we could throw a few bright spots in there. I feel like if I pointed out disappointments, it might be pointing out some individuals on our football team, but I don't feel like that's my job or my duty right now."

On the defense being unable to force turnovers, and what his new game plan is...
"That's really the most disturbing fact - in Big 12 Conference play that we don't have a turnover. We're minus-nine in that category. It's not a good stat to have on your side if you're a stat guy. As far as forcing turnovers, creating turnovers - that's a constant thing that you're always doing. It's kind of a momentum deal to where things get rolling, you get one or two turnovers - it stops or creates the flow of the game depending on which side you're on. Our job is to protect the ball on offense and get turnovers on defense. We haven't done an extremely good job of that prior."

On K.J. Morton and Mike Hicks' statuses...
"I don't think K.J. is going to be able to play. It's a groin injury. I just talked to (trainer) Mike (Sims) a couple minutes ago, and he said he would be doubtful this week, and will be week-to-week from here on out. I think there's a good chance [Mike] Hicks might play this week."

On Iowa State's defense...
"They're just good. They've got a really good defense, and they've got a lot of good people. They've had good people for a long time. The two linebackers, [A.J.] Klein and [Jake] Knott, both started 33 straight games. Really, really good football players. Up front, they're big, strong and physical. They've always had skilled people on the back end. They've got a safety, [Jacques] Washington, who's been a three-year starter. They had a corner that got drafted last year. Through that part of the league up there, it's really a big, strong defensive part of the conference. When you throw in Kansas State, Kansas and people up in that area, it's what they've kind of been built around. It's almost got a Big 10 mentality to it up there. That's definitely been a strength of their defense. Offensively, they've been a little bit hot and cold, but they have the potential to ball control you and have finesse when they need to be."

On whether or not the defense is playing with a lot of confidence and aggression...
"The scheme is controllable form a standpoint of making the calls, and the other is having the confidence and having the ability to make plays while the ball is in the air. We're always working on being aggressive. That's the name of the game on both sides of the ball."

On the running game...
"It was something we felt like we needed to do. Nick helped us a little bit from that position running. In most cases we've been able to throw the ball pretty effectively. It also helps create some running lanes. Every game now we have to see what the defense is doing and how we need to adjust from an offensive standpoint."

On Terrance Williams' contribution to the team...
"Terrance has done an outstanding job for us from an offensive standpoint and a leadership standpoint. That's what is rewarding about him is the way he approaches the game, the way he approaches practice, and the way he approaches the team. He's always giving of himself and putting everyone else in front of him. That's why he is a great player and a great contributor. Plus he has the talent and ability to go with that."

 Senior Wide Receiver Terrance Williams

On his high level of play...
"I'm just trying to make plays and help my team win games. The numbers I'm putting up aren't really affecting me. I'm just trying to help us get points and win."

On opposing defenses trying to do different things to defend him...
"Some defenses are making adjustments, but the coaches are putting me in the right positions to make plays. It also falls on Nick for trusting me and throwing the ball to me."

On the team's first six games and focusing on the final six games...
"It's time to forget the first six games and finish strong. We are still trying to make a bowl game so for the last half of the season, we have to finish strong and find ways to win games."

 Senior Quarterback Nick Florence

On coming up short in Austin even with a productive game from the offense...
"It's frustrating, but it's a team game and as an offense we still left points on the field. We didn't win every aspect of the game and so we lost, and in the Big 12 you have to win every aspect of the game in order to win games."

On Glasco Martin's fumble in the second half...
"You can look at that play, but you can look at the interception I threw in the first half because they (UT) got seven points off that. There are always a number of plays you can look at that will change the outcome of the game. We have to be able to overcome those things, and unfortunately we weren't able to."

On Terrance Williams' big plays in every game...
"He is a reliable and dependable receiver, and I know if I can just put the ball in his area, he is going to make a play on it. He runs great routes, he knows how to get open, and he's competitive. He fights for that ball, he fights for more yards. He's the best receiver in the nation, and we are lucky to have him."

On the last six games of the season...
"We have six ball games left. There is still a ton of football left. We were in kind of the same situation last year, and we were able to come out of it and overcome it. People remember how you finish a season, and that's we are going for."

 Senior Wide Receiver Lanear Sampson

On the final six games...
"It's midway through the season, and we have to step back and realize what we have in front of us and take it game by game from here on out and just focus on the little things and details."

On being a senior...
"It's my last go-around, my last six games and hopefully we can make it seven. I'm trying to go all out for the team. I feel like all the seniors are trying to go out with a bang."

On Iowa State and specifically the Cyclones' defense...
"They are a really good defensive team, and have always been a really good defensive team. They play hard and they hit hard. They are physical, and that's what they are known for. You can't look over their offense, because they have a good offense as well."


 

 

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