September 27, 2007
NU Notes: Chizik’s influence on defense impresses Callahan
When you look at this Iowa State team through four games, they could arguably be 4-0 with the way first-year head coach Gene Chizik has had their defensive playing.
Chizik's influence on the ISU defense shouldn't come as a surprise to anybody, as he has always been regarded as one of the top defensive minded coaches in all of college football. Through four games the Cyclones currently rank No. 22 in the country in total defense, and their play early on has certainly caught the eye of Nebraska head coach Bill Callahan.
"Interesting enough, everything he implemented at Texas, you see that carry over in their program," Callahan said of Chizik and the Iowa State defense. "They've got a lot of new wrinkles on defense. There's some things that they've added to their package, just like anybody does as you grow with a team and learn your personnel.
"I' m really impressed. I'm impressed with how hard they play. I really like their back end, their guys are competing on the back end and their linebackers are feeding off one another. They're just really sound. They're a real good defense right now. They have a lot of confidence and you can see it growing as you continue to watch film and you watch them progress through their schedule. They've got some confidence in what they're doing, so I'm sure their players want to prove to their coach that they're a good football team and they're up to the challenge."
ISU's defense will be led on Saturday by the play of linebacker Alvin Bowen. In 2006, Bowen led the nation in tackles with 155 stops, including 17 tackles in Iowa State's 28-14 loss to Nebraska last season.
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