Nuts and Bolts: Top News from Tuesday

Each week, Hawkeye Insider will sift through the mounds of information at Iowa's pregame press conferences and post-game gatherings to bring you top news items from the day. In this addition of Nuts and Bolts, you'll find items on Wegher, true freshmen, Koeppel, Jewel, Kirk's contract and much more.

IOWA CITY, Ia. - New items from Tuesday's press conference leading up to this weekend's Iowa State game. It's just the facts without the fat.

-Kirk Ferentz said that outside of an injury, the six true freshmen we saw on Saturday will probably be the only ones to play this season.

"If we stay healthy, we are where we should be," the coach said.

-Kirk said that he didn't think any of the injured players who missed EIU - Adam Gettis, Daniel Murray, Shaun Prater and Jeff Tarpinian - would not practice full speed on Tuesday.

"They are weaning their way back in," coach said. "We will see what happens. They won't go full practice (Tuesday)."

-Ferentz said that Christian Ballard would play inside and outside this week with Mike Daniels and Broderick Binns being part of a five-man D-line rotation. Binns missed last week's opener due to suspension.

Ballard said on Tuesday that he prefers playing tackle.

" We will continue to roll guys through," the coach said. "He was inside a bit the other day. It's like our backs. I consider both our backs to be starters. Mike Daniels is a starter in our mind right now. We have five good ones and we will rotate through."

-Nothing has changed on the Brandon Wegher front, according to coach. He said the ball is in Wegher's court.

"I think it's just an open book…" Ferentz said

-Ferentz was asked by the media about Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads' Monday comment that he sent Kirk a text last week. The message requested some spending money from the Iowa coach who received a raise and contract extension.

"He should have sent it to my wife," Ferentz said. "That's simple. I'm like everybody else. (Laughter) Asking the wrong guy on that one. (Laughter) I'm up to 20 a week right now. That's my allowance. That's pretty good."

-Julian Vandervelde admitted on Tuesday that his girlfriend attended Iowa State. He said he hoped she'd root for him during the game but couldn't be sure she would.

-Coach Ferentz said Koeppel could see time at guard:

"We will see. He has done that in the past, he has played TE for us, in the run formation. We have been getting an 80 or 90 jersey out for him. He is a real seasoned guy, a smart guy and good player. We will try to utilize his talents."

Coach Ferentz on Nolan MacMillan:

Q: Is Nolan MacMillan at guard a permanent thing?

"We will see. He played well. We had high hopes for him. He missed a lot of last fall, he missed a lot in the spring with injuries, so we didn't know how to judge him. Fortunately he came back well and started slow in camp and kept on building. It was a good start for him. We have never had too many good linemen...ever. (meaning never have enough). If you ever get a true two deep, boy that is a good thing. I have never seen that anywhere."

Q: Tackle in future?

"That is where he worked until Adam's ankle injury. He seemed like the next best guy. We will sort all of that out when we get there. Right now he is doing a good job."

Ferentz on Tarpinian:

"He's gaining grounds. The thing with him is the strength of his grip and it's tough to play effectively with a bulb on there. They have taken that off so it's now just him getting confidence in it.

"He's progressing faster than I would have thought, and we'll see how he looks this week. Hopefully it's going to be a good week for him."

Ferentz on how he'll use his RBs this week:

"We expect both those guys to play, he and Adam Robinson. We haven't come up with any menu or formula at this point. But we have confidence in both guys and we plan on playing them both and we'll just see how it goes."

Ferentz on his new contact:

Do you think it will end speculation that you'll leave for the NFL:

"Probably not, based on history, recent history. I just feel extremely fortunate, and I always have, I felt very fortunate to come here in 1981. I've enjoyed a lot more days than I haven't coaching here, and both as an assistant and as a head coach. I'm just thrilled to death. And very appreciative, the support that Gary Barta and President Mason have shown in our entire staff is very much appreciated. We are going to do our best to fulfill that obligation. But we are excited to be here.

Q. Do you view that as a lifetime deal of sorts?

"I remember first thing that comes to mind is Coach Fry's which he reminded me the other day; that he had a lifetime contract at SMU, and they pronounced him legally dead and moved him right out of there. (Laughter).

Lifetime in coaching is a season, really, but I hope to make it to the end of the year. That's one of my goals. I've been telling people for a long time, I really like it here, but nobody wants to believe you sometimes. We have enjoyed our life here, a lot, on two levels, professional and Perth, and those are both important. If you can have both, that's a pretty good deal.

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