For the first time in school history, you had crowds of more than 50,000 attend every home game. How close are you to what you have envisioned Iowa State can be?
PR: I'm a guy who grew up 20 minutes down the road and went to Iowa State football games when I was in elementary school. I have a little feel for the energy that has always surrounded this program, and I have never seen it at a higher level.
New offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham will call plays at the FBS level for the first time. How concerned are you?
PR: There's no concern. I didn't lose one wink of sleep. It takes a three- to five-minute conversation with Courtney to realize his commonsense approach. You would say to yourself, This is a guy who gets it. He will do a wonderful job with this offense.
SI: WHAT DO YOU SEE WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE SCHEDULE?
PR: AN UPHILL BATTLE. A YEAR AGO WE WERE ONE OF TWO TEAMS IN THE COUNTRY THAT PLAYED 12 BCS TEAMS. [THIS YEAR] IT DOESN'T GET EASIER.
What did last year's double-overtime win over No. 2--ranked Oklahoma State do for the program?
PR: Because it occurred on a Friday, because we got a lot of national recognition over the course of that weekend, it made I-State a nationally recognized brand. And when you recruit Florida, Texas, California and far away from your home state like we do, it gives us recognition that we have not had in the past.