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  1. #1
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    Spot Message is Keep Trying

    WCFcourier.com is the Waterloo-Cedar Falls homepage for all local news, sports, entertainment and events happening in the Cedar Valley

    Tuesday, October 16, 2007 11:31 AM CDT
    ISU football: Chizik's job keeps getting tougher
    By JIM SULLIVAN, Courier Sports Writer

    AMES -- The questions refuse to die.

    Is Iowa State head coach Gene Chizik wracked with concern over the confidence of his team?

    Are some of the Cyclone veterans about to lose their jobs?

    When the questions won't die, Chizik has one basic response: Perish the thought.

    Monday, ISU's head coach dealt with reality. His team is 1-6. It just absorbed a 56-3 thumping by Texas. Oklahoma, a team considered once again a real contender for a national championship, is on the way to Jack Trice Stadium for an 11:30 a.m. Saturday matchup. After that, the schedule offers few rest stops, given the rise of Kansas, Colorado, Missouri and Kansas State.

    "Is it easy right now? No, it's not," said Chizik. "Every day, I've got to look at 120 guys and convince them we're OK. I've got to look at 15 coaches and convince them we're OK. That's a real challenging part of my job."

    Chizik added, "The question is, did you think I'd be 1-6? I don't ever think I'll be 1-6, but I am. So you wake up every day and figure out how to deal with that."

    Take the confidence issue. Chizik freely admitted Monday that he's worried about Iowa State's psyche. Looking at the Cyclones after a loss, he sees plenty of disappointed players.

    At the same time, Chizik can't worry too much about confidence.

    "There's only so much you can say; there's only so much you can do," he said.

    So the ISU coach tried another approach. He appealed to the team's basic feelings about football during a Sunday meeting.

    "We've got to play with passion," Chizik said. "We've got five weeks left. We've been blessed enough to be able to play. Let's go play and have fun. That's what we talked about yesterday. That's what we're going to do. Is their confidence level down? I don't know, but you've got to go out and play."

    Added defensive end Kurtis Taylor, "The love of the game has to be there. If you don't come out and play with love and play with passion and play with energy, there really isn't a place for you out there on this team and really in this game."

    Then there are the personnel issues. Questions about getting younger players into the game began surfacing a few weeks ago. It happened again Saturday, specifically dealing with starting quarterback Bret Meyer and backup Austen Arnaud.

    Monday, Chizik retraced old ground. Arnaud has a bad foot, but even a healthy Arnaud would not be the starter, he said. Once again, Chizik said he'll bank on the Cyclones who give him the best chance to win now. Simply giving newcomers experience as an investment in the future, he said, wouldn't be right.

    "The message I'd send is, 'I don't care what happens the rest of the year,' and that's not true," said Chizik. "I want to win every week."

    Meyer, as he's done in the past, simply shrugged off the veteran vs. young player talk.

    "I don't know," said the senior quarterback when asked about Arnaud's status for the rest of 2007. "It's not my choice and not my question to answer."

    Overall, Meyer appeared to support Chizik's stance on playing time,

    "Anytime you come into the situation he has, where you have guys that have been playing for a while and you struggle, there's a lot of pressure," Meyer said. "It's a tough situation for him to be in. Obviously, you've got to try and please everybody, but (Chizik) is somebody who definitely knows what's right. He has no problems doing what he believes in.

    "As players, he told us was that he's going to believe in us. Week by week, he's going to play whoever gives us the best chance to win. I don't think guys have problems with that."

    Contact Jim Sullivan at (319) 291-1434 or jim.sullivan@wcfcourier.com


    Let my Fred's Posse Ride: Georges, Naz, Hogue, Bryce, Nader, Monte, Matt, and McKay.

  2. #2
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    Re: Spot Message is Keep Trying

    Radio Iowa: Chizik not giving up on this season to prepare for next year

    Radio Iowa Sports
    Chizik not giving up on this season to prepare for next year


    Monday, October 15, 2007, 3:27 PM
    By Todd Kimm
    Iowa State coach Gene Chizik will not change quarterbacks for this weekend's matchup with fourth rated Oklahoma. Freshman Austen Arnaud replaced starter Brett Meyer late in the Cyclones 56-3 loss to Texas. Meyer threw two interceptions against the Longhorns.
    "Is Austen ready to step in as a starter right now and help us win a game or what not?, If he was, he'd starting," Chizik says. Chizik says Arnaud has been banged up with a bad foot, and he can't do all the things they want him to do right now, but there's merit to getting him the game more when he is healthy.
    The Cyclones are 1-6 but Chizik is not going to go with younger players just to build for the future. Chizik says the message he sends to seniors right now if he goes with the younger guys is that he doesn't care about what happens the rest of this year. Chizik says that's not true, as he wants to win every week. He says there's merit in playing the younger guys more playing time, but says there's a fine line on when to do it.
    Chizik says despite the rough start he still remains confident about the future of the program. Chizik says it's not easy right now as he has to look to the team and coaches and tell them it's okay. Chizik says he hasn't gone through anything like this before to start out, "And I know this is the challenges that head coaches have to go through."
    Chizik says the players know the last five games are all against quality opponents but he says they still have a good attitude. "Nobody loves losing, and we're all smart enough to figure that out," Chizik says,"but if you love the game of football, you have five more opportunities to play it." Chizik says,"If you don't love the game, you shouldn't be out there."
    Chizik says Oklahoma has no weaknesses. "You know, do you want your eyes poked out or your nose cut off? Which one do you want, I mean really?," Chizik says, "they can run it, they can throw it, they can play the run, I mean they might be one of the top run defenses in the country."


    Let my Fred's Posse Ride: Georges, Naz, Hogue, Bryce, Nader, Monte, Matt, and McKay.

  3. #3
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    Re: Spot Message is Keep Trying

    WCFcourier.com is the Waterloo-Cedar Falls homepage for all local news, sports, entertainment and events happening in the Cedar Valley

    Monday, October 15, 2007 2:48 PM CDT
    Bowen asks ISU to pick up pace
    By JIM SULLIVAN, Courier Sports Writer

    AMES -- The pace must change.

    Following Iowa State's 56-3 thumping by Texas on Saturday, linebacker Alvin Bowen urged his teammates to get better in a hurry -- or else. After all, Oklahoma is coming to Jack Trice Stadium next weekend, and the Sooners beat the Longhorns in the Red River Shootout.

    So Bowen issued a warning: "If we don't play harder and smarter, then we're going to get blown out again," said Bowen. "We have to come out and play every game. I don't think we came to play today."

    Hungry for victory following an 0-2 start in Big 12 Conference action, Texas outplayed Iowa State in every phase of the game.

    The Longhorns rolled up 514 yards of total offense, with Colt McCoy often spectacular. McCoy dodged and ducked Iowa State's pass rush on the way to four touchdown passes. All day long, Texas receivers galloped through gaps in Iowa State's secondary.

    "We just didn't do our job -- period -- like we were supposed to do," said Cyclone safety James Smith. "It's very frustrating."

    Iowa State's offense withered after a hopeful start under some heat from the Longhorns' defense. The Cyclones settled for just a Bret Culbertson field goal and a 2007 low in total yards -- 228.

    Quarterback Bret Meyer threw two interceptions -- one being run back for a touchdown -- and found himself under fire again and again as the game wore on.

    Meyer insisted the curtain wasn't coming down early for Iowa State. Still, he issued his own kind of warning.

    "Obviously, we're frustrated," added the senior quarterback, who completed 17 of 33 passes. "But we've got five games left to go. If we practice and play frustrated and hang our head down and feel sorry for ourselves, it'll only get worse. But that's not the make-up of this team. You don't have to worry about that."

    Oklahoma poses plenty of problems. Like Texas, the Sooners own fleet receivers, a good young quarterback in Sam Bradford and depth at running back. In other words, there are great athletes everywhere, just like Texas.

    Yet, Iowa State's players insisted raw talent wasn't the difference between the Cyclones and Longhorns.

    "Not really," said offensive tackle Doug Dedrick. "It's just that we made mistakes. They didn't."

    Added Bowen, "We have the athletes to make plays. We're not doing anything scientific, we're not doing anything major. We're playing football. People need to realize that and step up and make plays."

    As for head coach Gene Chizik, he faded back to themes that have been frequently repeated during a 1-6 start to his ISU career. He liked the Cyclones' effort from beginning to end. The search for little victories, even on a difficult Saturday, goes on.

    Chizik, though, acknowledged that Mack Brown -- his former boss at Texas -- had built a program that plays on a field all its own.

    "Mack is a class man and a phenomenal football coach," said Chizik, the former co-defensive coordinator at Texas. "If not one of the best, he's the best in the country, in my opinion. They've got great players.

    "I think most programs would aspire to be something like that, in my opinion. Today, I thought that was evident. I thought they were coached well, and they played well. I just think that was evident in the way everything unfolded today. I have to give them a lot of credit."

    SOONERS-CYCLONES ON TV -- Iowa State’s Homecoming game against No. 4 Oklahoma Saturday will kickoff at 11:30 a.m. CDT in Jack Trice Stadium and be telecast nationally on Fox Sports Net.

    Contact Jim Sullivan at (319) 291-1434 or jim.sullivan@wcfcourier.com


    Let my Fred's Posse Ride: Georges, Naz, Hogue, Bryce, Nader, Monte, Matt, and McKay.

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