How a team handles adversity can go a long way toward determining just how successful a season will be. That was a strength of the Iowa State team in 2004. At one point the Cyclones stood 2-4 and appeared headed for a 14th straight Big-12 loss at Baylor and another lost season. A late touchdown changed everything. The Cyclones won 26-25 to start a four game winning streak and finished the season 7-5 after beating Miami of Ohio in the Independence Bowl.
Coach Dan McCarney says, “I don’t know of any head coach or coaching staff who aren’t excited at this time of the year.” “We can’t always be successful here at Iowa State but we can always persevere, and we sure have done a good job of that over the years and we’ll continue to try and be successful…no matter what hand is dealt to us.”
Offensive lineman Aaron Brant says the young team’s chemistry is working. “We motivate each other…staying after each other, pushing the other guy to hit his limit, bringing us all along,” Brant says. Brant is ready to take on Illinois State, Iowa and the Big 12. “It’s just going to come down to who’s going to grind it out, you know, who’s going to dish out the payback and who’s going to keep laying it on?” Brant says. Iowa State’s been picked by some publications to win the Big 12’s northern division, while others expect less of the Cyclones. That’s just fine with defensive back Nick Moser. “I think we still have that underdog mentality,” Moser says.