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    QC Times: Bad news is good for Cyclones O-line

    Good writeup about the O-line in the Quad City Times:

    LINK

    Bad news is good for Cyclones O-line
    By Steve Batterson | Friday, August 24, 2007

    No comments posted. | Rate this article | Default | Large

    AMES, Iowa — The bad news?

    Iowa State’s football team must replace four starters and seven of its top nine offensive linemen from a year ago.

    The good news?

    Iowa State’s football team must replace four starters and seven of its top nine offensive linemen from a year ago.

    Experience didn’t necessarily translate into success last season for the Cyclones’ front five, a group that struggled all season to protect quarterback Bret Meyer and lead an effective rushing attack.

    “It wasn’t the type of season any of us wanted,” said senior guard Tom Schmeling, the only returning starter in an ISU line that is preparing for Thursday’s 7 p.m. season opener against Kent State.

    “For whatever reason, things never really meshed and upfront, that’s the way it has to work.”

    Iowa State has been working on that since the arrival of a new coaching staff and one of the top priorities for new offensive coordinator and line coach Robert McFarland has been to bring some stability to an unstable situation.

    “The one thing you hope for during camp is that we can get a group together pretty quickly and give them a chance to get used to being out there together,” said McFarland, who joined Gene Chizik’s staff after working as the head coach at Stephen F. Austin.

    “The cohesion has to be there and with a new staff and a new group of players, really, we need to pull it all together pretty quickly.”

    Schmeling, a 6-foot-3, 295-pound junior from Atlantic, Iowa, started eight games at right guard last season and he’ll lineup at guard again this fall.

    The other positions on the line have been fairly fluid.

    Center Brandon Johnson, a junior who seen limited action since playing eight-man football as a prep in Rushville, Neb., and tackle Doug Dedrick, a junior college transfer from Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College, have retained top spots on the depth chart they earned during spring practices.

    Reggie Stephens, a sophomore who started a handful of late-season games last fall for ISU, has moved ahead of senior Lee Tibbs at the guard spot opposite Schmeling while redshirt freshman Ben Lamaak has worked his way in front of junior Joe Vanstrom at right tackle.

    Schmeling said he has been doing what he can to help the newcomers, but concedes he has had a lot to learn himself.

    “There’s been so much new for all of us, myself included, that you have to make sure you understand everything yourself first before trying to help the other guys,” he said.

    “The steps, the plays, the terminology, everything is new. Even the technique is different and it’s taking time. We’re a work in progress.”

    Chizik appreciates that.

    “Coach McFarland has his hands full because the line is one most difficult spots on the field for any player to step in at,” he said. “That’s one reason you don’t see a lot of true freshmen playing right away on the offensive line like you might at another spot.

    “The verbal and nonverbal communication that has to be there for a line to work as one takes some time to develop. Unfortunately, there’s never as much time as any of us would like, but I see guys working hard and getting better and that’s what you hope to see.”

    Iowa State has plenty of room to improve.

    Meyer was sacked a Big 12-worst 38 times last season and the Cyclones ranked 10th in the conference in rushing, averaging 101.8 yards per game.

    “Last season wasn’t anything that we were proud of,” Schmeling said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do, but we believe that we can turn it around. This is like a fresh start. That’s how we’re approaching it anyway.”


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    Re: QC Times: Bad news is good for Cyclones O-line

    Nice article.



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    Re: QC Times: Bad news is good for Cyclones O-line

    When did D-Port realize there was another team in the state? When i grew up there it was Hawks or nothing. Mustve happened in the last 10 years since ive been gone. I dont remember EVER seeing an ISU game, except my senior year against Iowa of course.


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    Re: QC Times: Bad news is good for Cyclones O-line

    Quote Originally Posted by ripvdub View Post
    When did D-Port realize there was another team in the state? When i grew up there it was Hawks or nothing. Mustve happened in the last 10 years since ive been gone. I dont remember EVER seeing an ISU game, except my senior year against Iowa of course.
    Hasn't changed a whole lot. You're lucky if you can get ISU games on the radio in eastern Iowa sometimes.



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    Re: QC Times: Bad news is good for Cyclones O-line

    Quote Originally Posted by mwitt View Post
    Hasn't changed a whole lot. You're lucky if you can get ISU games on the radio in eastern Iowa sometimes.
    I've heard the radio station play minor league hockey games, minor league baseball games, high school football games before they'd play the ISU game (and we're talking a station part of the Cyclone Radio Network).


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    Re: QC Times: Bad news is good for Cyclones O-line

    Actually ripvdub, i think QC Times does a great job of balanced coverage between EIU, ISU and Uof Ill. Especially when you consider the geography. Most of their ISU coverage is prett positive. They rarely go out of hteir way to be negative on ISU, unlike the Rag or Gazette.



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    Re: QC Times: Bad news is good for Cyclones O-line

    So is Schmeling a junior or senior?


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    Re: QC Times: Bad news is good for Cyclones O-line

    I think he would be a senior? He came in with Bret Meyer.



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    Re: QC Times: Bad news is good for Cyclones O-line

    He did come in with Meyer, but he was a greyshirt so he's a junior.




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