Iowa State football coach Dan MacCarney says he’s been pleased with his team’s effort in the early going of fall practice.
The Cyclones have fallen a game short of making it to the Big 12 title game the past two seasons — and McCarney says most people question how they’ll contend again this year with a tougher schedule that features Oklahoma and Texas.
McCarney isn’t among those who believe they can’t contend. McCarney says you have two choices, “Believe that you can be successful, or believe that you can’t.” McCarney says he gets a feeling that there is a great respect for the program and what it has done.
McCarney says his team has to continue pushing to compete for the conference title after failing to win the key games the past two seasons. McCarney says they’re not where they want to be, and he says when people look at the tough schedule they think the program is good, but the schedule is too tough. McCarney says his team has to put its foot in the sand and say it can and will be successful.
McCarney says he’s addressed the tough schedule head on with his players and won’t try to shy away from it. He says he showed them the schedule in the first team meeting and explained all the possibilities and then asked them to zero in on improving day-to-day to get ready for the opener.
McCarney says the offense will start as a strength of the team with two-year starter Bret Meyer back for his junior season, senior Kerry Van Winkle and incoming freshman Austin Arnaud. McCarney says Arnaud is as a far along as Meyer was as a freshman, but McCarney say he isn’t sure how much Arnaud will play. McCarney says Meyer is as good now as he has been at any time since he’s been at Iowa State.
McCarney says there’s also experience in the backfield with senior Stevie Hicks back. He says if Hicks stays health, he’ll have a great senior year. The Cyclones also have all seniors listed on their depth chart on the interior offensive line to start the fall. Iowa State opens the season August 31st hosting Toledo in Ames, they play at Iowa September 16th, and open Big 12 play against Texas on September 23rd.