Ferentz shows Arizona respect

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz met with the media earlier this week and had plenty to say about Arizona.

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz met with the media earlier this week and had plenty to say about Arizona.

"They're a team that has very good size, very good strength, very good athleticism, and they also have good experience," he said. "So just watching them on tape, they're a very good football team. They're a team that's got some momentum going for them, carried over from last year. They've played very well in their two opening games."

Arizona is a bit different from most offenses that Iowa will face this season and Ferentz believes the Wildcats pose numerous problems.

"They're a multiple football team like everybody now," he said. "They have several guys playing very well for them. Probably going into the season if you said who's their best player, it's the tight end, and he hasn't played yet, although I understand he's practicing this week.

"He's an excellent football player. His younger brother is a very good football player, multi purpose guy."

Beyond the passing game, Ferentz is aware that Arizona has been running the ball very effectively in the early season.

"The two guys that really emerged in two games would be the runningbacks," he said. "Both those guys are doing a tremendous job. Lots been written about them right now. Rightfully so. They really complement each other. They're different style backs. So in preparation it gives you some problems there.

Of course, much has been made about the return of the Stoops brothers to Iowa and that has not been lost on Ferentz.

"I'm sure this will be a game of significance to Mike and Mark," Ferentz said. "Mark is the defensive coordinator on his staff. Always good to have former Hawkeyes home. Better if we're not competing against them. More enjoyable if they're coming for a reunion. That's not the case. That is a great family.

"The entire Stoops family has a great part of Iowa football history. From that standpoint it's great to have him back. On the other hand, we're going to be competing on Saturday. I know they want to win every bit as much as we do. Ought to be a great football team.

In fact, Ferentz has kown the Stoops brothers for a while and has plenty of good things to say about the family.

"Yeah, it's hard not to include the entire Stoops family," he said. "When you meet one, they're a close family.

"My first exposure here, Bob was a junior at that time, a team leader, very inspirational player. Mike was younger obviously. Bob graduated. Mike stepped in and did a fantastic job. Was an excellent player, too.

Ferentz added that one of the most vivid memories he has of Iowa football involves Bob Stoops.

"Maybe one of the best hits I have eve seen in Kinnick Stadium was involving him and John Frank 1983 against Ohio State," he said. "I don't know if you guys remember that, but it was right down the hash. I didn't think either guy was going to get up. They both did. Both of them were good players.

"I probably know Bob better because Bob ended up being we were kind of coaching associates, if you will, through the mid '80s. After he graduated, he stayed on. We used to visit a lot."

In addition, Ferentz has had the opportunity to interact with Mike Stoops as well.

"But I had a chance to bump into Mike a couple, three, four springs ago," he said. "They make us do the Nike let me rephrase that. Part of our partnership is we do a couple clinics a year with Nike. Anyway, he and I ended up at the Orlando clinic together three or four years ago.

"We really had a good opportunity to sit down and visit a little bit. We ended up getting picked up at the same time, shared a ride over to the place. I think he spoke last."

With that being said, Ferentz will not enjoy the experience on Saturday.

"It's not a lot of fun to be honest with you, to see each other on the field," he said. "Fortunately or unfortunately, I've never really enjoyed I'd rather be playing somebody I don't know quite frankly or don't have an association with.

"But all that being said, we both want to win. I'm sure both of us want our teams to do well."

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