Excerpts from the Kill's Presser (bold emphasis added):
On the Cyclones:
On Iowa State's defensive strengths
"Well, I think their strength is, number one, is they are so well-disciplined. They're not going to give you a big play. They are very strong in the secondary...with two strong corners who are very gifted. Their coach does a great job at coaching; he's been coaching for 40 years. You don't coach 40 years and not know anything about football. I think the big thing I see in Iowa State's whole program is that they've got discipline. They're not going to make a lot of mistakes. They were number two in the red zone defense a year ago. They're just very, very solid at discipline, very aggressive, very good tacklers. I've got nothing but compliments for what I've seen from film and that's all I can go by: what I've seen on film from a year ago."
On Iowa State's quarterback and their offense
"He's a great player. They have a great running back. Seven or eight starters are returning. Offensively they will be very good. It will be a big challenge for us. It really will be. Running backs, they know how to run the football. That's really the number one goal: we have to stop the run. There isn't any question about that on defense. If we don't do that, it will be a long day."
On Position Battles:
On the number of quarterbacks that will play Thursday
"We won't see three quarterbacks. I'm not going to name the starter until game time, it's not anything against anybody in this room. It's just like anything: you try to go into game, you don't want to let a coordinator prepare anything different. Whoever it's going to be, we don't want to reveal that. We don't plan on playing three or anything to that nature."
On possibly seeing two quarterbacks Thursday
"Don't know that either, probably not. We'll just have to see if the situation arises. I hate to say anything. If you interviewed me two or three years ago it wouldn't have been a problem. But when I went to University of Tennessee, I think we were on our fourth quarterback at that time, I never thought that would happen. We'll probably travel four quarterbacks because of that situation. In my career, I've never had anybody get hurt at quarterback as much as we've had here."
On what level our offense and defense are on
"I think they're about the same. I feel good about both sides of the ball; as good as you can feel practicing against each other. I think each side of the ball has had success. I think we've been offensively up-front. Our offensive line, I think we're a more physical unit than we were a year ago...defensive line has probably made us that way. I think both sides of the ball have helped each other. We've seen a lot of things from each other and I think hopefully it has prepared us for not only this game but for the season.
On naming a kicker
"Again, I don't think you can answer that til game day. If you ask me that question again on Thursday night I'll be able to give you a lot better of an answer. I mean I could go out and make a field goal right now and I'm pretty old, but I could put one through those uprights from between 15 or 20 yards. But could I do it against Iowa State in a game situation? Probably not. I haven't had the repetition to do it. Game situations are totally different. That's why I think sooner or later you have to throw your team out there and let them play to see where you truly really are. You can predict, you can do all those types of things, but until you play, you don't know what you have. That's what in college football is unique because we don't have a pre-season like NFL does."
On the kicking situation
"I don't know yet. I have time to make a decision on that situation. There's a couple of guys in there. It may be a situational thing too. We very well may kick somebody off and have somebody do field goals. We may kick two. That is a possibility."
On whether a low scoring game might help win the game
"If it's low scoring, high scoring, if it's 2-0 and it's a safety, as long as the outcome is in our end I really don't care. I don't know, being the first game, it will be the team. Just like anything you look at the first games in college football, it'll be the team that doesn't turn over the football. It will be the team that plays the best in special teams. Usually the first game, for whatever reason, is determined a lot by special teams, field position, turnovers, and other people's mistakes. I think the team that makes the least mistakes will win the game. It really comes down to that. And certainly in the first week, sometimes you have enough talent to overcome some of those mistakes. But in the first week, sometimes you don't see that as much."
Tracy Wilson's legs are as valuable as gold:
On the defense being prepared for the schedule
"We are ready for the stretch that we have coming up. Coach Kill and the coaching staff do a good job at us getting our legs back. The stretch isn't gong to be too difficult as long as we have our legs. As long as we have our legs we're going to be good and Coach Kill does a good job with getting our legs back."