All of the coaches spoke during yesterday's Big 12 teleconference, but all we care about is Iowa St. Paul Rhoads. I couldn't find any transcript, but found a couple of articles from yesterday. The Des Moines Register's Andrew Logue writes about how Rhoads is not using a possible top 25 ranking as a motivating factor:
"The reason I did is because it could have marked a significant step," Rhoads said. "I’m not avoiding it or not doing it because it didn’t work. I don’t think this team needs that."
The Gazette's Rob Gray writes that Iowa St. and Texas Tech have similar quarterbacks, which I question this premise in its entirety. In any event, A.J. Klein talked quite a bit about what the Iowa St. defense hopes to do to the Texas Tech offense:
"We made them adjust and they didn’t make the adjustments easily enough," Cyclone linebacker A.J. Klein said. "Once the defense gets some momentum we start playing with more confidence, like we did last year. Things start going our way more often. When he starts that scrambling around back there, you’ve got to get at least one guy up front to go contain him, to get him pulled up so he doesn’t run the football," ISU defensive coordinator Wally Burnham said. "Of course, that’s sort-of a mismatch in the open field, but that’s what you’ve got to do. In the secondary, you’ve got to make sure no one gets behind (you), that’s the first thing. Then the underneath coverage has to get deep and keep everyone in front of them, also. Then, react and hopefully make the tackle."
I also wanted to note something that our good friends at Wide Right Natty Lite wrote about, which is the fact that they are having a lot of success with their new defensive backs coach, Troy Douglas. I normally would completely ignore something like this, but noticed that he was the defensive backs coach at North Carolina at the exact same time that DC Art Kaufman was at North Carolina. ISU fans are ecstatic about what Douglas has done and the same could be said about Kaufman.
Please feel free to peruse this week's transcript, there's actually quite a bit of good things this week, lots of discussion about Iowa St. There's actually so much there that I can't summarize all of it, but I'll highlight some different quotes. You can also check out the LAJ feature on Iowa St. not being a doormat, LAJ notebook and DT on avenging the last two years of losses.
I think they fit really well; they see the run, they come down the hill really fast. It's just important that we play fundamentally assignment football in the running game and get our blocks, make correct cuts. And I think it's going to be huge for our inside receivers to be a big factor in the blocking game, too, to kind of get in front of those linebackers and create some space.
Up next is Tuberville, who noted that both CB Cornelious Douglas and WR Marcus Kennard are healthy and ready to go. I also thought it was interesting how Tuberville also sounds like a lot of you in that he knows that the rankings are relative to the opponent, that they mean something, but don't mean everything. He's encouraged:
I think we'll get a much tougher test the next nine weeks than what we have had, and not that the teams that we have played couldn't move the ball a little different. I'm proud of where we are at in terms of stopping the run. We have not seen a lot of passing teams, teams throw it down the field much, so we'll get a lot biggest test there. So it's good to have some success. I think our guys are building confidence. The reality will set in in terms of what we are getting ready to get into. We have talked to our players about that. It's good to look and say, hey, we have improved and we are getting better and we have. But to that extent, being No. 1, I don't know whether we are at that point or not or even close. But we are not where we were last year at this time, either. So we are probably somewhere in the middle. So it will all work its way out. I think offensively, the same way. I think we are ranked pretty close to the top on offense, which is a lot better indication, because offense, you have to go out and execute no matter what the other team does on the other side. And again, also you can look and say we have only played our starters pretty much a game and a half in the first three games. So it's kind of relative, if you look at it that way, also.
Brown talked about Iowa St. and what to expect from the Iowa St. defense, including the type of defense that Iowa St. runs, zone or man coverage and things like that. Brown also talked about the defense overall:
They are by far the best defense we've played. I think they are going to be one of the better defenses in our league. With those guys, it always starts with the two linebackers, Klein and Knott, are as good as anybody in our league. They are physical kids. They do a great job in the pass game, getting in their zone drops. They also got a kid, Washington, who is a safety that's played the last two years against us, and I think he's an NFL talent. I think he's very, very good. And probably their most underrated, they play about four or five d-tackles inside. But they are all big guys, I mean, they are 280-plus and they do a good job of really pushing the pocket and getting a surge in the run game, also.
It was also good to read Johnson and his expectations of the team:
Yeah, that was my goal, like talking to the guys here, no one came to Texas Tech to lose. We didn't come to Texas Tech to be the last-ranked defense or the worst team or however you want to look at it depending on different opinions. We came here to win and that's our goal as a team, as a unit, and every individual came here to make a statement, to do something that Texas Tech has not done. So we agree with that.