IOWA CITY, Iowa - Whether or not the Iowa players heard criticism levied at them after Saturday's 20-17 loss against Iowa State didn't matter. They were aware it was out there.
"That's fine. We're not really worried about them. We're worried about who's on the inside (of the program); what we can control," defensive tackle Carl Davis said. "What we control is going to practice today, getting to work, watching film, getting better and getting ready to play Pitt, honestly. That's why they're on the outside. We're a confident group. We know we put in the work."
Iowa brings a 2-1 record to Pittsburgh (3-0) Saturday (11 a.m. CT, ESPNU) in its first road game of the season. The Panthers are rolling with a win already this season at Boston College, who beat No. 9 USC last week.
"It was a tough loss (to ISU) and we kind of shot ourselves in the foot," strong safety Johnny Lowdermilk said. "We were frustrated on Sunday and then Sunday night a lot of us got on the Pitt film because the weeks are starting to go by really fast. You have to get as much preparation as you can. So, I think we're all on to Pitt and you just have to flush the last loss. It was obviously tough but if we don't come in there ready to go on Saturday, they'll put a whooping on us."
Being able to deflect criticism can be a key component to team unity and improvement. Head Coach Kirk Ferentz has heard plenty of it during his 15 plus season at the Hawkeye helm.
"You can't stay in the game and compete if you're going to go home and cry every time you get beat. It doesn't work that way," he said.
Iowa lost three of its first seven games last season before finishing with four wins in its final five contests of the regular season. When things go well under Ferentz, it's been a team that improves as the fall turns to winter.
"What we really need to do now is move on. Pretty simple. Like every week, we need to worry about what we're doing and matching up against our opponent. People that can't do that aren't going to do very well over the long haul. That's just how it is. Easier said than done. I understand that totally," Ferentz said.
Watch what else the Hawkeyes had to say on Tuesday when they met with the media in our HI TV video highlights from the press conference: