Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads, quarterback Austen Arnaud and running back Alexander Robinson sat down with reporters after Monday's practice to answer a few bowl-related questions.
It appears the Cyclones are making the most of their trip.
Head Coach Paul Rhoads answered questions first.
About any trick plays in the plan for Insight Bowl
"There will be some trick stuff because you always have something up your sleeve every game. In the bowl game that will be the case. There will also be new stuff they haven’t had a chance to work against."
Are the players are bored at practice this week
"That’s always a fear. Judging on how they have practiced the past few days I don’t believe that to be true. I think you have to hold some things until this week of practice. If everything down here was repeated, then they think they’re in and they got it and they quit working. Yesterday was the first day we looked at some things. Yesterday was the first day we put some things in offensively. So you have to stay focused or you’re not going to execute it."
"I think it was better. My main concern today was that the offense threw the ball better and the timing was better. I think we accomplished that. We had too many balls yesterday that were thrown behind receivers or not in a position to be caught. That was fixed. Two-minute drill was okay from a defensive side, not as good from an offensive side. You have to go into a game counting that it will come down to a two-minute drill."
About trying to beat Minnesota
"As soon as it got solidified that we were indeed playing in a bowl game they knew that there was only one way to prepare, and that was to prepare to win it. Nobody is accepting the fact that we made it this far and we get to go out and ride go-karts, enjoy this warm weather and the great hospitality. Everybody is here to win a game and they have prepared accordingly."
Quarterback Austen Arnaud fielded a few questions, as well.
About finishing the season with a 7-6 record
"Coach Rhoads always talks about that we haven’t had a losing record yet this year. And we don’t plan on doing it any time soon. The thing we are trying to bring home here is to have fun and have some memories. You’re not going to have many good memories with a loss."
About preparation for the Insight Bowl
"Everyone talks about we haven’t been here before. We’ve been through a routine week practice for a game. We know what we’re doing, so that is going to be a key for us to stay focused and stay locked in."
Running back Alexander Robinson added a few comments, too.
About distractions this week while preparing for the Insight Bowl
"I don’t think it is really that tough. You try to enjoy that when you’re in that. But Coach Rhoads stresses that once you step through those doors that you have to lock in for three or four hours watching film or working on the practice field, whatever it is. You have to let everything else go. There’s nothing you can do to affect what’s happening outside of that. You have to lock in, so that’s what we have been trying to do."
About the offense in this week’s practices
"I think our timing has gotten a little bit better. We’re getting back to how we were operating before. With consecutive practices, you get a little bit better."
The Cyclones seem prepared, but we will find out for sure in a few days. Iowa State will square off against the Minnesota Golden Gophers in Tempe on Dec. 31 at 6 p.m. EST.