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Archive for September, 2006

Cyclone Notes – September 29, 2006

Posted by isuisu on September 30, 2006

The ISU basketball program will have an additional visitor this weekend. Jordan Dykstra a 6 foot 8 inch ninth grader from small town Iowa will be visiting Iowa State unofficially this weekend.

In addition to the three big time recruits for the basketball program there will be two big time football visitors this weekend as well. We really need these guys, show them love Cyclone fans.

LB Larry Asante (Coffeyville Community College)

S Gary Chandler (Coffeyville Community College)

Other football visitors this weekend include:

ISU commits: QB Phillip Bates, DE Will Eilert and WR Alex Sandvig

OG Brock Rodriguez (2007 recruit) out of Claremont, Oklahoma

LB Sean Fisher (2008 recruit) out of Millard North, Nebraska. He was here for the UNLV game as well.

Three other 2008 Nebraska targets were at the UNLV game as well:

LB Justin Swedberg (Axtell)
OG Brian Thorson (Millard North)
OG Michael Yardley (Lincoln)

Scout Team Players of the Week (Texas week)
Offense – Alexander Robinson
Defense – Derek Schmidgall
Special Teams – Nick Campbell


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Greater Des Moines Cyclone Club Notes – John Skladany (September 29th)

Posted by isuisu on September 29, 2006

If you are not a member of the Greater Des Moines Cyclone Club, I highly recommend that you join today. The club does a great job of getting coaches to town for these lunches and raises a significant amount of money for Iowa State.

For more information on the club visit:

John Skladany was the featured speaker at the Greater Des Moines Cyclone Club luncheon today at the University Holiday Inn in Des Moines. I really enjoyed listening to him and the fans in attendance asked some great questions and he gave some great answers. Here are a few notes from the luncheon.

James Smith will not be back this week against UNI and he is questionable next week for Nebraska as well. Skladany says it about makes him cry that we don’t have Smith back at strong safety.

I talked to him after the luncheon was over and he talked about how the losses of Robertson, Taylor and Smith have really hurt this team. He felt really good about where they were on defense prior to those losses. He didn’t make any excuses, he explained how this happens to alot of teams and the guys that are playing just have to get better.

Defensive Line Comments

Travis Ferguson has been back practicing and should play some tomorrow night. He seemed to light up a little bit when talking about Ferguson, but he said that he needs to show it in game situations.

He also has high hopes for Stephon Dale. Originally they thought he might grow a little more (285-290) and play on the inside, now they think his best position is going to be defensive end. He seems to be the front runner to take over for Moorehead after this year.

Linebacker Comments

In regards to the linebackers he mentions that they are all getting better as the year goes along. All three guys are relatively new to the positions they are playing. Tyrone McKenzie is still learning to play at MIKE, he was originally slated to play at WILL prior to Robertson being suspended. Adam Carper has really been coming on strong these past weeks and just a couple years ago he was playing quarterback. He joked that Alvin Bowen leads the country in tackles, but he also leads the country in missed tackles.

When they got off of the bus last week in Austin he said it was really miserable, hot and humid. Skladany pulled the three back-up linebackers (Fred Garrin, Jesse Smith, Josh Raven) to the side and said you guys are going to have to play tomorrow. He said there eyes got as big as saucers and he didn’t think they probably slept much the night before the game. It ended up being a good experience for them as they played in the game and they realized they could play with the likes of Texas.

He singled out Fred Garrin as having tremendous potential. Coach said that he likes to hit and he will hit anyone. Freddy has alot of speed and energy, it is just a matter of channeling that speed and energy within the system. Skladany mentioned a blitz drill they ran this past week that Garrin went all out but not within the scheme. After receiving some constructive criticism from Skladany, Garrin told his coach to watch him the next time as he was going to make a play.

Secondary Comments

He prasied the play of Chris Singleton and feels that Chris has taken some major steps these past two weeks. The third cornerback still seems to be somewhat of a concern. He really likes what the two youngsters have shown (Drenard Williams and Devin McDowell) but they need to be more consistent and show that they “get it”.

He has also been encouraged by the play of Jon Banks and thinks he his really starting to grasp what they want him to do. They singled him up with Scott Chandler in the Iowa game and he thought he did some nice things in that game.

The loss of James Smith has affected more than just the secondary. Caleb Berg has been a real star on special teams but coach mentioned how they are running him ragged playing the entire game at safety and on all of the special teams. They made the decision to pull him off of some special teams and it has hurt the special teams some. He said Caleb is busting his butt trying to get better at safety, but he is struggling some on passing situations.

When James Smith gets healthy it will really help this team, he will be able to help out at safety and he is also good enough to play some nickel on throwing downs. It could also allow Caleb Berg to go back to playing on the special teams units that he excels in.

He said he was disappointed that they didn’t get Jason Harris in the game last week, but he really hopes to get him in the game this week. Harris is the fastest guy in the secondary and he relayed to me that they had a tackling drill earlier this week and Jason is not afraid to stick his head in there and hit people.

Brandon Hunley also saw his first action against Texas. Coach was disappointed that Brandon didn’t make a play on the Texas second half touchdown.

Younger Players

The youngsters he mentioned as standing out were Josh Johnson, Austin Alburtis, Bailey Johnson, Devin McDowell and Drenard Williams.

I asked him if either Alexander Robinson or Mitchell Moore have seen any time on defense. He said that Robinson was another guy that really looks good on the scout team. Skladany was telling Tony Alford that he was really impressed with Alexander and Tony told him to forget about it and that he wasn’t getting him on defense.

Someone asked about Sandvig and he said he thinks he will definitely play in the future. He is really fast and athletic and Skladany really loves his heart.


There are two big time juco recruits in town this weekend for the game. He didn’t mention them by name, but the two players he is referring to are out of Coffeyville Community College in Kansas:

LB Larry Asante and S Gary Chandler

I should have more information on other football recruits visiting this weekend in a few hours.

Coach Skladany also mentioned that LB coach Shawn Simms has been in California the past couple days combing the junior colleges for talent.

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Iowa State Basketball to Host Three Important Recruits This Weekend

Posted by isuisu on September 27, 2006

It is a huge recruiting weekend for the future of Iowa State basketball. If you see these guys on Saturday, show them some love and let them know you want them to be Cyclones.

Visiting this weekend are:

Current commit – five star PF Craig Brackins (6’10, 220 lbs)

three star SF Andre McFarland (6-5, 210 lbs)

three star PF Kenton Walker (6-8, 215 lbs)

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Iowa State – Northern Iowa Game Preview

Posted by isuisu on September 27, 2006

Iowa State Offense vs UNI Defense / UNI Offense vs Iowa State Defense
Iowa State Special Forces vs UNI Special Teams / Overall Breakdown
Overall Breakdown:
Iowa State Cyclones

UNI Panthers
38 Scott’s Prediction


Iowa State Offense
vs. Northern Iowa Defense

I fully expect the offense to be hitting on all cylinders this weekend. Iowa State should be able to move the ball on the ground and through the air. The Panthers have played lesser competition to date; Drake (Div I-AA -no scholarships), North Dakota (Div II) and South Dakota State (1-3). These teams all had success moving the ball on UNI. Iowa State has the talent to put up a lot of points, this should be the week they finally break out.
Overall – Heavy Advantage:

Northern Iowa Offense vs. Iowa State Defense

The UNI offense is a talented group that is led by a great senior quarterback. The Panthers have had success on the ground, but this will be the best defense that UNI has played this year. Iowa State should be able to control Northern Iowa’s running game and they will force the Panthers to throw the ball. Sanders is a great QB but he is throwing to a new group of receivers. Their top two receivers are HB James Lindgren (27 catches in 2005) and Johnny Gray (1 catch in 2005). The Cyclones have really struggled stopping the pass in 2006, but the Iowa State secondary is talented enough to put the clamps down on the Panthers this week.
Overall: Slight Advantage:

Iowa State Special Forces vs. Northern Iowa Special Teams

If Northern Iowa is going to upset the Cyclones this is an area they have to dominate. The Panthers are solid in all phases of special teams, but the star of the group is senior kicker Brian Wingert who is perfect on field goals and PAT’s and has 16 touchbacks on kickoffs. I would expect the Panthers to be very aggressive on special teams and come after Brandtner’s punts very hard. Iowa State best chance for a big play will come on punt and kick returns.
Slight Advantage:

Iowa State Cyclones vs. Northern Iowa Panthers

Turnover Margin
Iowa State: plus 2
Texas: plus 2

Iowa State fans get up to Ames early on Saturday and get to your seats prior to kickoff. This is going to be the weekend that Iowa State puts it all together. The offense will put up more than 30 points and the defense and special teams will have solid consistent performances. I don’t see any chance for a letdown in this game. The Cyclones are coming off of two losses and they still haven’t played well and they know it. The Panthers will come in hungry and put everything on the table, but it won’t be enough. The Panthers will go on to have a good season. They will continue to improve as the year goes on and their young skill position players get more experience.

Overall – Heavy Advantage:

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Random Cyclone Notes

Posted by isuisu on September 23, 2006

Kickoff weather in Austin
93 degrees, feels like 101 degrees, 40% chance of thunderstorms

Play-by-play – Mark Jones
Color – David Norrie
Sideline Reporter – Stacey Dales-Schuman

Football Scout Team Award Winners

Toledo Week
Offense – Bailey Johnson
Defense – Brian Carlson
Special Forces – Nick Campbell

Offense – Zac Sandvig
Defense – Nick Harklau
Special Forces – Joe Conklin

Iowa Week
Offense – Nate Mechaelsen
Defense – BaileyJohnson
Special Forces – Joe Conklin

Basketball Visitors (September 30)
Craig Brackins – Committed
Kenton Walker
Andre McFarland

These are important recruits for Iowa State. Show them some Cyclone love!!!

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Austin’s Girlfriend – Janna Skrabanek

Posted by isuisu on September 22, 2006

Another photo from the Houston Texan’s website.

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Way to go Austin!

Posted by isuisu on September 22, 2006

The Des Moines Register had a story on Austin Flynn and his girlfriend this morning.

Who is Austin’s girlfriend? Houston Texans cheerleader Janna Skrabanek.

Todd Blythe had some funny quotes on Austin and his girl. Here are a few:

“He’s out-kicked his coverage – by a mile-and-a-half. That’s the only reason I room with him on road trips – to see her,”

“From what we hear, she’s now dating David Carr,” Blythe joked about the Texans’ starting quarterback.

Click on the link for the full story from Randy Peterson at the Des Moines Register:

Austin’s Personal Cheerleader

Here is a photo of Janna from the Texans website:


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Do you get the game? Iowa State – Texas ABC Coverage Maps

Posted by isuisu on September 20, 2006

Here is the coverage map from ABC:

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Iowa State @ Texas Prediction

Posted by isuisu on September 20, 2006

Iowa State Offense vs.Texas Defense

It is tough to find a weakness in the Texas defense and the Cyclones offense has yet to hit their stride. Iowa State likes to be balanced on offense, but the Longhorns are going to make that very tough on the Cyclones. Texas has made their opponents one dimensional by completely shutting down the running game. The Clones best bet is to go with four wideouts and stretch out the Longhorns defense. Todd Blythe is the playmaker for the Cyclones and Iowa State needs to find a way to get him touches. ISU will struggle to get the ball to Blythe again this week and the Longhorns defense will be too much for the inconsistent Cyclone Offense.

Advantage: TEXAS

Texas Offense vs. Iowa State Defense

Colt McCoy - Texas QBIowa State has been tough to run against this season, but they haven’t faced a team with a massive offensive line and two talented running backs like Texas. Iowa State will try to make the Longhorns one dimensional by stacking the box and forcing them to throw. If they can stop the run, the Cyclones may be able to hang around in this game. If Texas can run the ball effectively, which I suspect they will, the Cyclones will be in big trouble. Texas will have an advantage late in the game as they are big and deep on the offensive line and Iowa State is young and thin in the front seven. I expect Colt McCoy to have the best game of his young career.

Advantage: TEXAS

Iowa State Special Forces vs. Texas Special Teams

Texas has the advantage in Special Teams as well, in fact you could argue that Texas has the advantage in all phases of special teams. A big return could come from the Cyclones kick return team or the Texas punt return team.

Advantage: TEXAS

Iowa State Cyclones vs. Texas Longhorns

It is going to take a near perfect game from Iowa State and a poor performance by Texas for ISU to even have a chance in this game. Turnovers are the great equalizer, if the Cyclones are plus 2 or 3 in the turnover battle their chances for an upset increase exponentially. Texas is too talented and too deep and will win this game comfortably. I expect Colt McCoy to have a great game against the Cyclones inexperienced secondary.

Prediction: Texas 37   Iowa State 17

Click here for a full breakdown of the Iowa State Cyclones at Texas Longhorns game.

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Congratulations Iowa

Posted by isuisu on September 16, 2006

Iowa Wins!  Crap...Congratulations to Iowa, I felt like both teams played well and as I expected the teams were evenly matched.  In my opinion the difference in the game were the halftime adjustments that Iowa made.  ISU had no trouble moving the ball up and down the field through three quarters and then the Hawkeyes completely shut down the passing game after that point.  On offense Iowa exploited the Cyclones secondary by spreading the ball to wide receivers, tight ends and running backs.  Iowa needed some young guys to step up and they really did.  Dominique Douglas and Andy Brodell had their best games as Hawkeyes and Tony Moeaki made a huge play on a touchdown catch.

A moron (Lou Holtz) questioned Mac’s decision to go for it on 4th and 10 late in the fourth quarter, but I actually agreed with Dan’s decision.  Meyer has to know where he is on the field and make sure he gets the ball past the first down marker.  The decision that I have a problem with was at the end of the first half.  ISU should have went for a score at the end of the first half.  There was over a minute on the clock and ISU had all three timeouts.  Iowa hadn’t slowed down the Clones all day long but Mac still decided to run out the clock.  Dan needs to show some confidence the offense, I think that decision took some wind out of the Cyclones sails.

Iowa State’s offensive line played a tremendous game, the Cyclones rushed 36 times for 170 yards.  Bret Meyer and Stevie Hicks both ran with the ball effectively and it was great to see Jason Scales get some quality carries and do a good job.  The defensive line also played really well holding Albert Young to 57 yards on 18 carries.  ISU also won the turnover battle and the kickoff team did a much better job today.  It was great seeing Griebahn get a couple kicks in the end zone.

I am happy for Mike Klinkenborg.  He played a great game today after the rough week he has had. 

Side note:  Directv just about lost a customer today.  I didn’t get the game until there was 3:00 minutes left in the first quarter.  The excuse they gave us when we called was that the game was blacked out due to the ticket sales.  Are you freaking kidding me?  This game was sold out before it was ever put on sale.

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