When Bryan Bulaga sat down to watch the game film from last Saturday's game against Northern Iowa, he wasn't giving it a thumbs up. He knows that if Iowa doesn't improve up front on the offensive line, they are going to struggle offensively. The junior tackle talks about what the Hawkeyes need to do better and the adjustments in the offensive line this week with Kyle Calloway returning to the lineup.
Watch a video interview with Bulaga here:
Or listen to an audio interview here:
Or read the transcript below:
Joined in progress…
Bulaga: It was obvious on Saturday that we weren't at the same intensity level as Northern Iowa was and that is going to be the big adjustment that we are going to have to make. There are really going to be no changes in how we practice this week and how we do things. It is a big game for Iowa State, but we are going to come out and do the same things.
Q: Do you remember the five field goals in the game two years ago?
Bulaga: Yeah, absolutely.
Q: Do you remember the last second one?
Bulaga: Yeah, I remember it. I was watching it. That is not a good memory for us, but they played a good game against us and we didn't really come ready to play that day either. We have to have a good week of practice to get ready to go up there.
Q: You will get Kyle back this week and maybe Julian. How does that change things?
Bulaga: I think it kind of solidifies some things. Having guys come back that were starters last year always helps. That is going to be big for us. Obviously they bring a lot to the offensive line. Julian is a great offensive guard and Kyle is a two year starter that is a very talented guy.
Q: You have had Dace working next to you a little bit. Have you developed a level of comfort with him?
Bulaga: Absolutely. Pretty much all spring, Dace and I were next to each other. In that time we really developed a good cohesion working together. He knew what I was doing and I knew what he was doing. Getting him back this week is going to be great. I don't think we are going to skip a beat.
Q: Do people underrate the aspect of a comfort level of being next to a guy on the offensive line?
Bulaga: I think they do. I am not here to make any excuses, but to know what the guy next to you is thinking is a big deal, especially in the system that we run. It is kind of like a train and if one car gets backed up then the whole line gets backed up. So, if you know what one guy is doing and that guy knows what you are doing it is a smooth ride on the train and everything clicks. If one piece is off, it looks bad.
Q: I assume that you have watched the film from last week . Did it frustrated you? What did you learn?
Bulaga: It was frustrating to watch it because I thought that we would come out more ready to play than what we did. We definitely learned that we need to pick it up from minute one to minutes sixty. We are going to be able to just walk into any place and just beat you. UNI came out ready to play, hit us in the mouth and they showed us that they were ready to play. I think we learned that we need to come ready to play.
Q: How quickly did you learn about this rivalry once you arrived on campus?
Bulaga: I learned pretty much from the get-go from talking to guys in the locker room saying, hey this game is pretty wild. Being from Illinois there isn't really a big rivalry there and following Illinois and Northwestern, I really wasn't into the college football scene in high school. I was more into the NFL. Once I got here and started talking to the guys, I found out pretty quickly that it was pretty intense. After seeing film from the games, you see how the level of play is amped up.