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    ISU again forced to shuffle defense

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    Ames, Ia. - No excuses.

    Another unanticipated change in Iowa State's defense is nothing more than a football "fact of life," coach Dan McCarney said.

    "We move on," he said. "That's why we have 85 scholarships."

    The Cyclones move on while changing defensive personnel at a rate last seen at Iowa State during the 2004 season. They face Texas Tech at Jack Trice Stadium on Saturday.

    Jason Harris starts for the first time at safety, and Steve Johnson will move from safety to cornerback as the Cyclones try to put the skids on a three-game Big 12 Conference losing streak - with their third different defensive starting lineup in seven games.

    Iowa State's starting defense last changed that often when four different lineups started during a season in which the Cyclones finished with records of 4-4 in the conference and 7-5 overall after a 17-13 win against Miami of Ohio in the Independence Bowl.

    "We all look at it as an opportunity to step up and help our team win," said backup cornerback Chris Brown.

    A season-ending injury to cornerback DeAndre Jackson forced the most recent change. He tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during last Saturday's 34-9 loss at Oklahoma.

    "We feel terrible for DeAndre, because he's one of the great young men in Iowa State history, but we move on," McCarney said.

    Jackson, a senior, started 35 games in a row before ruining his knee during a first-half kickoff return.

    "He's a big piece of the puzzle to what we're doing, but things happen like that in football," said linebacker Alvin Bowen, who for the sixth consecutive week leads the nation with an average of 14 tackles a game. "That's the risk we take.

    "I'm very sorry for DeAndre, but right now we need other corners to step up."

    Four who started previous games no longer start:

    Linebacker Adam Carper tore the ACL and medial collateral ligament in his left knee during practice Oct. 3.

    Defensive end Rashawn Parker lost his starting job to Bryce Braaksma after the first five games.

    Nose guard Nate Frere lost his job to Ahtyba Rubin after three games.

    Jackson suffered his career-ending injury during his seventh start.

    The same defense has started successive games only three times.

    "It'd be nice to have one week with the same 11 starters," McCarney said.

    In Jackson, Iowa State lost more than its top pass defender heading into a game against a team that ranks third in the nation with an average of 352.7 passing yards a game.

    The Cyclones also lost a leader.

    "DeAndre was like a big brother to me on the field," sophomore cornerback Chris Singleton said. "I always asked him what do I do wrong and what can I do better.

    "With DeAndre gone, I don't have anybody to look up to. I have to step up and be a leader. Now, everybody's going to look up to me."



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    Re: ISU again forced to shuffle defense

    Why isnt Parker playing more? I know Mac said a few weeks ago that he was getting warn down, but is Mac just gonna waste the last 3/4 of his season? He is the only pass rush we have right now and he hasnt played in weeks. Braaksma has a whole 3 solo tackles and 5 asst tackles. Dale is even more impressive with one and neither have a tackle for loss. At least Parker can get into the backfield, Braaksma is to slow to get a pass rush. And we will really need a pass rush this weekend.
    Maybe we can play 5 linebackers and 6 dbacks this weekend. Theyre trying everything else.


    #BEATIOWA

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    Re: ISU again forced to shuffle defense

    Why don't we try shuffling our offense? That seems to have more problems than the D.



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