October 4, 2006

Breaking down the Iowa State Cyclone defense

Who: Iowa State Cyclones
School Location: Ames, Iowa
School Colors: Cardinal and Gold
2006 Record: 3-2
National Ranking: Not Ranked
Conference: Big 12 (North Division)

Head Coach: Dan McCarney (Iowa, 1974): In 12th season at Iowa State (55-79 overall, 2-9 vs. Nebraska)
Defensive Coordinator: John Skladany

When: Saturday, Oct. 7, 2006, 7 p.m. (CDT)
Where: Jack Trice Stadium
TV: ABC
Radio: Pinnacle Sports Network
Series Record: Nebraska leads 82-16-2

Returning Letter Winners On Defense: 12
Returning Starters On Defense: 5
Base Defensive Formation: 4-3

On The Line: Senior defensive tackle Brent Curvey (6-0, 305) is a stable force on a young and inexperienced defensive line. He's recorded 18 tackles this season, including 4.5 behind the line of scrimmage. Senior end Shawn Moorehead (6-4, 250) and junior Ahtyba Rubin (6-3, 285), a converted offensive lineman, have both recorded 14 stops.

Linebackers: Junior weakside linebacker Alvin Bowen (6-4, 220) has been one of the Cyclones' most consistent performers, recording a team-high 69 tackles along with a pass break-up and interception. Sophomore strongside linebacker Tyrone McKenzie (6-2, 230) has recorded 56 tackles (four for losses), a QB sack and interception. Sophomore middle linebacker Adam Carper (6-3, 225) has made 39 tackles to rank fourth on the team.

In the Secondary: Senior defensive back DeAndre Jackson (6-0, 192) is the most experienced member of an ISU secondary that's been picked on quite a bit this season for good reason - the Cyclones are ranked 108th nationally in pass defense, giving up 252.6 yards per game. Through five games, Jackson's recorded 22 tackles and a pass break-up. Junior free safety Jon Banks (6-3, 217) has been in on 42 tackles to rank third on the team.

Punting the ball: Freshman Michael Brandtner is handling the punting duties for ISU this season and is averaging nearly 40 yards a kick.

Cyclone Quick Hits

***Nationally, Iowa State's defense is near the bottom of the NCAA rankings in several statistics, including total defense (95th - 377.40 YPG) and scoring (96th- 28.0).

***The Cyclones three victories this season (Toledo, UNLV and Northernn Iowa) have come by a total of three points.

***A victory this weekend would give Iowa State three consecutive wins over Nebraska in Ames. ISU hasn't won in Lincoln since a 24-21 triumph in 1977.

***Nebraska will be playing its fourth straight night game Saturday in Ames.

***Now in his 12th season at ISU, Dan McCarney is the dean of Big 12 Conference head coaches.

Iowa State Schedule
Aug. 31 - Toledo (W, 45-43, 2OT)
Sept. 9 - UNLV (W, 16-10)
Sept. 16 - @ Iowa (L, 17-27)
Sept. 23 - @ Texas (L, 14-37)
Sept. 30 - Northern Iowa (W, 28-27)
Oct. 7 - Nebraska
Oct. 14 - @ Oklahoma
Oct. 21 - Texas Tech
Oct. 28 - @ Kansas State
Nov. 4 - Kansas
Nov. 18 - @ Colorado
Nov. 25 - Missouri

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