Iowa State is undefeated when Joel Lanning starts at quarterback.
The redshirt sophomore took over under center against Texas, leading the Cyclones to a 24-0 win over the Longhorns. Lanning finished with a 78.2 adjusted QBR after completing 19 of 37 passes for 188 yards and a touchdown plus 13 carries for 64 yards. He took some time to chat with ESPN.com about his first start, the victors' locker room and winning their first game since Oct. 3:
What was your first start like?
Lanning: It was awesome. I wasn’t really nervous at all for some reason. I was expecting to be nervous but I wasn’t. I just went in there and played football. To get my first win, against Texas, was awesome. The defense played lights-out to shut them out which makes the win even better.
Was there a point you started to feel comfortable or did that come immediately, at the first snap?
Lanning: Honestly, I felt comfortable from the first snap because earlier in the season I was getting snaps. I was used to what the game was like. What was different was being in the pocket and playing a full game, you know? The biggest change was playing the full game and having to put up points to win it.
How was it different in terms of the off-the-field stuff that comes with that spot?
Lanning: All last week was pretty stressful with what was going on, being named the starter and the coordinator change, (Iowa State changed offensive coordinators from Mark Mangino to Todd Sturdy last week.) Being confident in yourself was huge. To be the guy is a lot different than being the backup.
With him being your quarterback coach you probably have as good a relationship with Coach Sturdy as anybody so how did things change with him in charge?
Lanning: Things never really changed much. The only thing I think changed was our tempo, our tempo picked up a little bit.
What has he done to help you grow and mature?
Lanning: He’s been working with us for a long time now so obviously he’s seen me grow. He knew what I needed to work on and what my strengths were so he just took that into the game and tried to help me out and have good play-calls for me.
What was after the game like in the locker room?
Lanning: The locker room was awesome. We always go in, say a prayer then Coach (Paul Rhoads) talks then we sign our fight song and throw water everywhere. It was crazy and it was awesome! (Here's a YouTube clip of the celebration.)
You’re getting thrown into the fire, huh? First start against Texas, second start at Oklahoma, not the easiest first two starts of a college career.
Lanning: No, not at all. We played as a team and hopefully we can carry that over to Oklahoma. They’re legit. Always.
Did it feel like validation for you guys? It seemed like you were playing better than you were getting credit for but not getting the wins.
Lanning: Yeah. It definitely helped to get that win. In the past few games there were definitely some teams we could have beat. I feel like getting this win boosted the whole team. We can compete with those teams, we just have to play a full game. I felt like in previous games we hadn’t played together as a full team. Offense would play great one quarter, defense can’t get off the field or defense is playing great and the offense can’t score. We played a complete game and I think that made a big difference.