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Greater Des Moines Cyclone Club Luncheon Notes & UNLV Game Prediction

Posted by isuisu on September 9, 2006

Scott and I (along with our buddy Dan Reding) attended the pre-UNLV game luncheon yesterday and we thought we’d share some of the highlights from Coach Mac. Here goes:

– Coach came into the luncheon upbeat as ever and you just can’t help but like the guy and be thankful he’s here at Iowa State. I, along with a lot of people, have criticized him for not having the killer instinct or always playing to ‘not lose’, but there is no doubt Mac loves Iowa State, it’s football program and it’s fans. I don’t think there’s anybody who wants to win more than Coach.

– Mac said three of ISU’s Alumni back for the Hall of Fame ceremonies were going to speak to the football program that afternoon (Barry Hill, Keith Sims and Clay Stapleton).

– Marty, Mac’s wife, took the 3 OT game pretty hard on Thursday night so she repaid Mac that weekend by hitting (I’m assuming) Mac’s credit card pretty hard on an extended shopping spree the next day. “You gotta stop doing this”, she told him (in reference to the close game). I think all those in attendance would agree. Mac chuckled and agreed too.

Things to watch for from UNLV:

– Chop blocks from the lineman and the wide recievers. Mac said they probably chop and cut more than any other team they will face this year. Like to clear the path for their 6’5″ QB Rocky Hinds.

– Spread offense…said they give multiple looks, with multiple receivers and throw the ball all over.

– Speaking of their QB, Mac says this guy is big, can really sling the ball and can also use his feet. Should be a great matchup to watch with him and Bret.

– On Defense they use a 3-3-5 stack and blitz from all over…can put our offense in some bad situations if we don’t read, react and execute.

Random Notes about the Cyclone Offense:

– Mac again reiterated that Austen Aurnaud has really impressed the coaching staff. Impressed with his maturity, arm strength and awareness. Said he’s as far a long (if not farther) than Bret was during his freshman year. You could see the excitement he has for his kid.

– With that being said he specifically mentioned that all of us fan should tell Meyer and Blythe, “It’s going to be great watching and cheering for you guys the next two years,” anytime we see them. Or in other words, “Please don’t leave early for the NFL!”

– Said Johnson, Scales and Kock all deserved to see action at the RB spot due to their hard work in practice. Mac loves what Stevie brings, but also wants these other guys to start to contribute. We’ll see how those words translate over to the game (think we’ve heard that before).

– Thought we had a solid running game vs. Toledo, but not great.

– Really liked what he saw from a passing game standpoint against Toledo. Good routes, throws and catches.

– Was very pleased with only 1 false start penalty and also the 2 sacks. One of the sacks was for -1 yards, so he said they would take that combo pretty much every week. Let’s hope for more of the same from the OL, although they need to be more dominant at the point of attack for the running game.

Random Notes about the Cyclone Defense:

– Mac sent all of his former players (now in the NFL) Cyclone shirts and hats. Said Nick Leaders was the first to call him back and had heard from some of the other guys on the current team that the two freshman DL (Nate Frere and Rashawn Parker) are for real. They really get after it on every play and plug things up in the running game. He was happy to hear his old position was in good hands for hopefully the next four years.

– Mac agreed and was impressed by the maturity they showed and toughness playing pretty much all game.

– Mac said too many mental mistakes on defense against Toledo to award an MVP, although singled out LB’s Alvin Bowen and Tyrone McKenzie as having great tackling days flashing their speed all over the field.

– Collins Eboh will not be a Cyclone (ever). Said he gave him a second chance, but the kid just didn’t take care of his academics. Mac seemed perplexed as he said Collins is a smart kid (compared CE’s 25 a.c.t. score to his own 24) but just didn’t do some of the things asked of him.

– There had been some speculation as to why McKenzie was not with the team for two weeks this summer and Mac said he was excused to take care of some personal (sounded like family matter). It wasn’t anything he did wrong as some had thought.

– Bowen is probably fastest LB to ever play for the ‘Clones. Also loves Carper’s speed but he needs to continue to play more physical. Mentioned Garrin as being talented and fast too.

– Matt Berg currently not on the two deeps (as to why he didn’t play against Toledo).

– Thought Singleton had a good game.

– Mentioned Devin McDowell would probably redshirt if we stay away from injuries and that Drenard Williams will be one of our kick returners (along with Deandre) and has been since he got here to Ames (as the official Toledo game depth chart had Flynn listed in his place).

Random Notes about the Cyclone Special Forces:

– Said nobody has owned up to the blocked field goal mis-hap. What I mean by mis-hap is when a kick is blocked and stays behind the line of scrimmage the SF’s are coached to scoop and score. When a kick goes over the line, a word is yelled out (he said the word, but I’ll leave it out of here in case the enemy is reading), which means to stay away from the ball (if it’s over the line it can not be advanced). Well, someone (who is yet to be determined) yelled out the word and everybody stayed away. Bad move – but Mac says that it has definitely been addressed in practice.

– Thought Shaggy showed great poise and liked his 5-5 effort on kicks.

– With the blocked kick (and failing to scoop and score) and the botched snap on the field goal attempt, basically was a 7 point swing in the game. Scoop and score and have a good snap on that field goal and we probably don’t see overtime. Just the tiniest mistakes (wrong call and high snap) can really change the face of a game.

There will be 57 recruits (a lot of juniors ) that will be at the game tonight.

Well, that’s all for now. Gotta get ready for the game. Overall it was a great luncheon and if you guys and gals haven’t attended one you should. Mac was great as always and when his days as ISU coach are over he should be a politician because he really has the gift of gab and is fun to listen to. On second thought, Mac is too honest and too good of a guy to be a politician.

My prediction for UNLV game:

– I look for another high scoring game and chance for redemption for Mac and the coaching staff (by redemption I mean putting away a team when we have them down 20-8). Our offense will score at will and Blythe will see the ball more than the three times he saw it in regulation last week. I hope everytime Blythe is 1 on 1 for the rest of his career we throw him the ball…not every other time, not every third time, but EVERY TIME. If they are going to cover him with one man we need to make them pay.

– Another big game for Meyer – and I think we’ll get a few more turnovers from our D. No overtimes this week:

Cyclones 48

Wear your Cardinal clothes from head to toe and yell like hell!!!



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