Kirk Ferentz OTS Press Conference Transcript

Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz met with the media for his press conference after the press conference on Tuesday. Here's a transcript of his weekly On The Side.

Q: Is Adam comfortable with being THE ball carrier?

Kirk Ferentz: You can ask him. I haven't asked him. I would assume he is. He likes carrying the ball. He runs like it at least.

Q: Is he capable? When we saw him after the PSU game, he was sore looking.

Ferentz: How was Fred when you saw him back in the day?

Q: He was more spry...

Ferentz: Adam is as tough a player as we have had. It's not like we are asking him to climb Mount Everest. We are asking him to carry the ball. A lot of backs do that every down. I don't think we are asking him for anything out of the ordinary.

Q: How does MSU get three Shonn Greene's?

Ferentz: Good recruiting and keeping them healthy.

Q: Is Denard Robinson indicative of the Big Ten getting a little more creative offensively?

Ferentz: I don't know about that. What you have is a coach coming from a different conference with a different style of offense and recruiting players to that offense. If you have a player like that you are smart to do that. Indiana did with Randle El. My guess is Michigan will do this for a long time, but I don't know about everyone else.

Q: Is the fear factor with Michigan speed? It used to be size and pro personnel

Ferentz: They have transitioned offensively. they don't look like it was the last time we were up there. There is nothing comparable. It's explosive.

Q: Health of Bernstine?

Ferentz: We expect him to play. He practiced Sunday.

Q: How did you feel about the bye week.

Ferentz: You don't get to choose, but this year had I chosen, I would have picked this week. For once I was lucky.

Q: If it comes down to James Morris at linebacker, he seems comfortable...

Ferentz: At least this time he should be more comfortable. I could flip it around too, because now that he has time to think about it he could be nervous. He is practicing well and he will be fine. It is likely he will be in the game so he has to be ready to go.

Q: Is the matchup with Robinson and an middle linebacker overstated?

Ferentz: I think so. The way we play, it's more all 11. I think some of those media matchups get more play. It's a good story..explosive QB v an All American LB (last week, MSU's Greg Jones).

Q: You guys were favored against PSU at home and now favored v Michigan on the road

Ferentz: I am surprised again. I am guessing Alabama was favored Saturday. How about the Rams? I'd like to know how many underdogs won on Sunday. It looked like a lot. People that bet on pro football are out of their minds.

Q: Get a chance to watch much college football Saturday?

Ferentz: I had a chance, but it lacked interest. The Michigan game caught my attention, but outside of that I didn't watch too much of it.

Q: Do you have a play where you flip the ball over the holder's head to your kicker?

Ferentz: We ran that in the bowl game last year. It didn't work.

Q: Did you see the Wisconsin, going for two thing?

Ferentz: I did see that. A Coaching decision.

Q: Do you have a (go for two) card like that?

Ferentz: Someone in the booth has them. I don't carry one. I am not a card carrier. I think I have one in my notebook.

Q: Could you see yourself doing that in that situation

Ferentz: That is a hypothetical.

Q: I tried.

Ferentz: Yeah.

Q: Can you attribute the good start on offense to anything?

Ferentz: The first thing is that we have a veteran quarterback that is pretty confident. He is a fifth year player. Rick is playing at a high level right now and that is what you hope for from a veteran guy who works extremely hard. It would be great if we can keep that going. We will hit a snag or two along the way, hopefully not soon.

Q: Where was Rick at IQ wise last year to this year. It seems like it's gone through the roof

Ferentz: It's experience. If you make it that way. If you let it work for you it can be a great thing. No one on our team works harder than he does. That is just the little that I see. He is a guy that understands that if you work at it and pay attention you can help your game and he is enjoying that right now.

Q: How much of that is also having experience at skill positions?

Ferentz: It helps too. He is getting good support. That is offensive football. That helps a lot. We have been down that road too. What happened? It's not always the quarterback. Even on interceptions sometimes.

Q: Redshirt off Coker, give urgency to play him?

Ferentz: Our projection from day one was NOT to redshirt him. Along with that was for him to be our #3 back so we could nurse him along. Now the two things that have happened is that Jewel is injured for the season and then Marcus was injured for a long period of time. He missed significant time. Two weeks of camp is like ten weeks of the season. That has been the challenge. He is smart, as you know. He pays attention, so that is not an issue.

Q: Can he make it up?

Ferentz: Oh yeah. He will be fine. He looks better than he did a week ago. Players play faster when they get experience. It's true everywhere. He is a lot better than he was three weeks ago. But we have to keep our foot on the gas.

Q: Little things like protections?

Ferentz: Yeah. It's not just taking a ball and go. There are a lot of things that runners do. Part of that is protection, blocking, pass routes, understanding where they go and that type of thing. It's pretty involved. At least that is a position, historically, where younger players seem like they can play a little bit. He will be fine. If he had had the benefit of camp full speed, that would have helped.

Q: Brad Rogers?

Ferentz: He is still an option. Those three guys are the guys we are focused on right now.

Q: Is Paki still hurt Ferentz: He is coming back. It gives us a nice safety valve, but we are limiting what he does. The Jamie Murphy comparison still applies. He won't be on kick coverage.

Q: What all went into getting Marcus and Brad more caught up during the bye week

Ferentz: You can only practice so much. If we could have we would have had two a days all week. We wouldn't have classes, but everyone else would have walked off the team. At least it was a week where they could practice without worrying about game prep. It was a chance to catch them up fundamentally. We didn't tackle them. I would have liked that, but it's not smart at this point to take that chance.

Q: Camp in middle of the season?

Ferentz: Not really. It's more shorter in and out things. At least they were doing things were we could work with them. Right now we are putting the game plan in for Michigan.

Q: Where does Hitchens factor in

Ferentz: We are probably going to bring him along and see what happens. He is further behind than Marcus because he was a defensive back until two weeks ago. He is starting from scratch

Q: Does he stay there in future?

Ferentz: We'll see.

Q: Perception is you have to outscore Michigan. Their defense has been ripped all year. Ever worry about the light coming on?

Ferentz: I look at the tape and think how can we move the ball? How are we going to score. They have good players. Sometimes things getting called right. Michigan State hit a few plays that were called at the right time. A guy might have been unblocked and couldn't quite get through to the back. There are no gimmees.

Q: They have a lot of blue chip talent on that side of the ball

Ferentz: They have a lot of good players. I don't know how much #88 was recruited, but he is a really good player. He was a four star? He should have been if he wasn't. They have a lot of good players.

Hawkeye Insider Top Stories