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  1. 2008 Oct 15

    Welcome Back...

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    By SMcKewon

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    It was in Ames, Iowa – that cozy, windy, math-minded community north of Des Moines - where Nebraska offensive line Barney Cotton spent one of the best years of his coaching career.

    And we’re not even talking about the three seasons he spent as Iowa State’s offensive coordinator.

    “I volunteered at Ames High School and a got a chance to coach my son,” said Cotton, whose son Ben now plays tight end at NU. “And the other two kids, I never missed a game of theirs. I got a chance to rejuvenate myself and got a chance to realize what coaching is all about.

    “It’ll be good to go back there. That was home for four years.”

    Cotton joined the Cyclones in 2004 when then-coach Dan McCarney hired him. When McCarney was fired in 2006, Cotton was not retained by current coach Gene Chizik. Still, he knows many of the ISU players who will line up against the 3-3 Cornhuskers in Saturday’s 11:30 a.m. contest on Versus.

    After the final gun, he’ll seek some of them out, shake their hands and reminisce a little. Cotton handled a similar situation in 2004, one year after he had been Nebraska’s offensive coordinator under Frank Solich.

    Before that, he said, he won’t think much about it.

    “Too much is made out of playing at old school that you worked at,” Cotton said. “When I worked over there and now that I work over here we were working our butt off just to win the football game. You don’t really worry about who you’re gonna play. At least I don’t.”

    No argument from right guard Matt Slauson.

    “He’s been even-keel all year long,” Slauson said. “He’s put no extra emphasis on this game. Every game seems like there’s extra emphasis on it, because that’s the way it needs to be."

    Cotton’s primary concern has been ISU’s defensive line, which has helped caused nine fumbles so far this year. Ends Christopher Lyle and Kurtis Taylor have combined for seven sacks and 15 tackles for losses, comparable to the numbers compiled by Nebraska’s unit.

    It’s a bunch, Cotton said, that got his team’s attention the film room.

    “You see them playing with a lot of energy,” Cotton said. ‘A lot of times that translates to turnovers. They’re playing very hard – especially their pass rushers.”

    Tags: barney cotton, ames, iowa state, wind, math, matt slauson

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