CSR Non-Conference Preview: Iowa

Cyclone Sports Report continues its non-conference preview by talking with Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz.

Cyclone Sports Report: Iowa State begins 2009 with a new staff led by by new head coach Paul Rhoads. What is your relationship like with Coach Rhoads?

Kirk Ferentz: I first met Paul when he was on Dan's (McCarney) staff and so we got to know each other a little bit during that time. From the small world department after he left for Pitt I would run into him sometimes out there because I grew up our there and so I would see him on occasion when I was back.

CSR: You have been part of this rivalry for a long time. What does this game mean to you?

KF: I left here in 1981 so I was here for the second straight defeat before Donnie Duncan's team won again in 1982. Then Iowa went up in 1983 and started a pretty good run that became pretty one-sided. Then I got back for it to go into a different direction when Iowa State had a huge upset in 1998. Dan McCarney did a great job at Iowa State and they had a solid streak for the next few years and since then the rivalry has really been hotly contested.

CSR: Your defensive line lost Big 10 Player of the Year Mitch King and Matt Kroul. How tough will it be to replace their production and what do you expect from your defense?

KF: The reality in college football is that you are going to lose good players and the good thing about our defensive line is that at least we have our two starting defensive ends returning in Adrain Clayborn and Christian Ballard. I really think Karl Klug and Mike Daniels can step up and do a good job for us at defensive tackle. I'm real happy with our linebacker depth and we return three starters in our secondary so that should be a strength if they play up to their abilities.

CSR: Your offense loses star running back Shonn Greene. How does that change your offensive philosophy going into the season?

KF: Shonn was really a great story last season and him being gone is going to be a big loss. Realistically we are not going to be able to match his production but if he is healthy we expect Jewel Hampton to do very well this year. The key is that we have to be better in the passing game and we should be.

CSR: The home team has won five straight in this series. What will your team have to do to break that streak in Ames this season?

KF: The first thing we have to do is protect the football. In our losses up there we have not done that well enough. The second thing is that our younger players need to realize how tough a place it is to play for that game. It will more juiced up for us that probably any other game. There will be 50,000 people going crazy and making it very loud so we really need to focus and execute under pressure.

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