Sunday Notebook

Sunday Notebook includes items on Trinca-Pasat leaving team last year, an injury update and more about Iowa football.

Iowa CITY, Iowa - Intentional or not, Kirk Ferentz let fly a piece of news during his post-game press conference Saturday. The Iowa coach announced that Louis Trinca-Pasat had quit the team.

Fortunately for the Hawkeyes, the sophomore defensive tackle returned to Iowa City after walking away at the end of last season.

"There was a little period, I guess it was around Thanksgiving (2011)," Ferentz said. "He had gone home and came in and said, basically, he wasn't sure about playing. I thought it was a mistake, certainly.

"I just encouraged him to maybe take a couple of days away from it. It wasn't like we were practicing. I think he only missed two practices."

Trinca-Pasat, a sophomore, has emerged as the most consistent force on an improved defensive front. He began the season learning to take on blocks. Now, he's getting through them. He racked up seven tackles in Saturday's 31-13 Homecoming win against Minnesota.

Ferentz said it's a far cry from Trinca-Pasat in late November.

"He was just in the tank," the coach said.

Iowa's staff had experienced the Trinca-Pasat situation a few years back with Pat Angerer. The former Hawkeye and current Indianapolis Colts linebacker was stuck in neutral.

Ferentz and his assistants weren't going to let them walk away that easily.

"If you go back to Pat Angerer, (he and Trinca-Pasat) both love football," Ferentz said. "But it's hard. And when things aren't going the way you want them to, sometimes you start thinking funny thoughts.

"Fortunately, he got a lot of good support at home. When he came back, he got a lot of good support here."

It seems like a press conference doesn't go by this season without Ferentz saying Trinca-Pasat and Mark Weisman have been the most-improved Hawkeyes since January.

"I can tell you exactly why it has happened," Ferentz said. "They both have worked like dogs. Reese (Morgan) has done a great job with Louie. Lester (Erb) keeps pulling rabbits out of his hat with running backs. It's a good thing."

The Angerer and Trinca-Pasat cases bring to mind one that got away during the Ferentz Era. Matt Neubauer could have been special.

Not Out of Woods: Weisman's emergence has come at the expense of Damon Bullock. The sophomore from Texas suffered a head injury against Northern Iowa on Sept. 15 and has not returned.

"I think he'll be fine, but there are steps you have to go through," Ferentz said of medical procedure with head injuries. "He hasn't made it yet. He was ruled (out) this week. (Doctors) said he couldn't play."

On the bright side, it appears the coach is confident he'll have Bullock back in two weeks for Michigan State.

"I expect him to be practicing this week," Ferentz said.

Other Injuries: When you play physical football like B.J. Lowery, you're going to get banged up. The true junior from Cincinnati sat out the Gopher game after getting dinged up last week.

"Hopefully he'll be ready to go (this week)," Ferentz said. "He's got a little foot deal. Maybe he could have gone today if he had to. I don't know how effective he would be."

Austin Blythe, who started the first four games of the season, sat out Saturday's game.

"Blythe is kind of the same thing (as Lowery)," Ferentz said. "By Tuesday, B.J. should be ready. I would think Blythe, if not Tuesday, (by) the end of the week."

Andrew Donnal stepped in for Blythe at right guard. The sophomore was listed as the No. 2 left tackle on the depth chart. Jordan Walsh was in the two-deeps as the back-up to Blythe.

"We're getting Walsh back," Ferentz said. "He's starting to practice better."

Give Me a Break: Ferentz and his players seemed to welcome the bye week.

"It really comes at a good time," the coach said. "We still have a lot of work to do yet. We can go into it with a good attitude and also get some guys fully healthy, guys that weren't able to go or guys that might be a little limited right now."

While the Hawkeyes may take a bit of a physical break, receiver Keenan Davis said there's still work to do in the film room.

"It's rest for the guys that have played a lot," Ferentz said. "We've got a lot of things we still have to work on. That's one of the good things. We won today but there are a lot of things out there that just need to be improved upon."


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