Joined: Jun 2004
I Root For: UAB
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Quote: If Iowa State intends to end its two-game losing streak against the Missouri Tigers, coach Dan McCarney knows it will take a flawless defensive effort.
The Cyclones (3-2, 0-2) face a Missouri offense on Saturday that averages 508 yards a game and is ranked seventh nationally in total offense.
"Defensively we've got to be sound," McCarney said. "We're going to have to really, really be great tacklers. And we've got to try and get some turnovers and get back on track."
Against Missouri (3-2, 1-1), McCarney knows that is a tough task. Quarterback Brad Smith, a fifth-year senior, has accounted for almost 350 yards a game this season. He is ranked third in the nation in total offense.
Against Oklahoma State this past weekend, Smith passed for 193 yards and a touchdown. He rushed for a season-high 184 yards.
"He's playing with tremendous confidence," McCarney said.
Iowa State will also have to contend with sophomore tailback Marcus Woods. He has been the Tigers' primary back for the past two weeks with Tony Temple out indefinitely with a right ankle injury. Woods had a career-high 102 yards on a career-high 20 attempts Saturday against the Sooners.
"Marcus Woods is playing with good maturity," Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said. "With our injury problems at tailback, he has held things together."
In last year's game against Iowa State, Smith and Woods combined for 182 rushing yards to spoil Iowa State's hopes of playing in the Big 12 championship.
With the Big 12 North race wide open, this game once again has championship game implications.
McCarney said if his team hopes to get back on track, it will have to force turnovers. The Cyclones have forced 12 turnovers through five games and have scored 46 points as a result. "We're capable of getting more takeaways, and we've got to do that," McCarney said.
But turnovers also have been one of Iowa State's downfalls.
The Cyclones committed six turnovers in the red zone in five games, including two this past week against Baylor.
Although Missouri has the 11th ranked defense in the Big 12 and has only forced eight turnovers this season, McCarney doesn't anticipate any let up from the Tigers.
Missouri will look to contain Iowa State quarterback Bret Meyer, who ranks third in the Big 12, averaging 230 yards passing per game. Meyer had 61 yards on 20 carries last year against Missouri.
But Meyer has struggled with rushing the football early this season. He has minus-20 rushing yards on 57 carries. Despite Meyer's struggles and Iowa State's recent losses, Pinkel doesn't expect Saturday's game to come easy. "Like every game we get in this league, it's going to be a battle," Pinkel said.
Notes: Missouri tailback Jimmy Jackson, a redshirt freshman, replaced Temple as the No. 2 tailback behind Woods on the latest depth chart. Temple did not make the trip to Oklahoma State, and Pinkel would not comment on Temple's status for Saturday's game. ... Iowa State is 6-1-2 against Missouri when it's the Tigers' homecoming, with Missouri's only win coming in 1968.
|10-14-2005 02:45 AM