Iowa Head Coach Kirk Ferentz on Nebraska

Kirk Ferentz discusses the upcoming Nebraska game on Friday.

Kirk Ferentz just had his weekly press conference reviewing the win over Purdue and previewing the showdown with Nebraska in Lincoln on Friday. The Hawkeyes have a chance to come out of the game with a spotless regular season record, the first since 1922. 

The Huskers enter the game with a 5-6 record so a win would clinch a spot in a bowl game. They've underperformed this season but are coming off two impressive victories over Michigan State and Rutgers. 

The Iowa head coach issued his statements and thoughts earlier today.

ON NEBRASKA...

"We go over to Nebraska, and typical of Nebraska, they've got a lot of good football players. They're a very good football team. They've got an excellent coaching staff, and I think probably the big thing right now is that they're meshing. The new staff got there whenever they got in place, it takes a while for things to come together typically, and I think we're witnessing that. They had some very difficult losses, close losses early in the season, but they were playing well but just couldn't quite finish things, and they're coming off two very, very impressive victories now, beating Michigan State a couple weeks back, and most recently Rutgers. They're a good football team, good offensively, good defensively, two excellent specialists, and good core guys on the special teams."

"A good football team. It's going to be a hostile environment. That's an added challenge, and we're playing them on their senior day as well. We've got a tall list of things that we're going to have to get prepared for, and the bottom line is it's like every other game week; our guys are going to have to really prepare well, and then, most importantly, we're going to have to be ready to go at kickoff on Friday."

"Our job is to be able to play with those guys, go out and compete with them. They recruit well. They've had great teams in the past, and they've got a really good football team this year. Our challenge is to be ready for them on Friday."

CONCERN WITH DEFENSE?...

"Somebody said that was kind of out there a little bit this morning on social media or whatever. I have people that actually tell me stuff that's going on in the real world. You know, it's football, and we've played a couple good offensive football teams. Name anybody that has shut out Indiana this year. Let me know who it is and we're going to look at that film real closely because we've got a challenge there. Minnesota is playing good football, and Purdue is a good football team."

"You know, the obvious difference right now in my mind is that we don't have Drew Ott, but I would counter that by saying we played pretty good defense against Purdue, played pretty good up in Wisconsin, and that was without Drew, and Drew is not coming back. Sorry to say it, but we all realize that. So we've got to find a way, and we will. We have got good guys and they're working hard and they'll respond, but this is going to be a big challenge, too. This is a really good football team, you know."

ON POSSIBLE DREW OTT MEDICAL REDSHIRT...

"Absolutely, we'd be crazy not to try it. I think there's a fair case to be heard. I don't know how the NCAA rules on things. I really don't pretend to be an expert in that regard, but I think if you listen to the whole case, it's worth at least presenting, and we'll see where it takes us." 

"No, (I was not surprised at all he wanted to come back). I mean, we're with these guys day by day, and you know, the injury gutted him. It gutted all of us. It's just a hard thing because he's put so much into it. He clearly is one of our strong leaders and has been and still is. So yeah, he wants to finish this up. He wants to have a good senior year. That's what he wants, like most players."

ON NOT HAVING TRAILED SINCE FIRST HALF AGAINST ILLINOIS...

"That is remarkable. I wasn't aware of that quite frankly. It doesn't feel like that on the sideline, I can tell you that. We're winning by 20 and I'm just churning. You never feel comfortable. But it's a credit to our players. We've done a pretty good job in the second half and closed games out pretty well. But I wasn't really aware of that until it kind of came up the other day."

ON SPORTS ILLUSTRATED COVER...

"Yeah, I just heard that one this morning and wasn't quite prepared for that. I did speak to a reporter last week, so knew there was an opportunity, but I'm a little behind, so we're going to have to do a little research and prove that there is no jinx. That's been thrown out there before. We've already done some things nobody has ever done here before, so maybe we can, last time we couldn't survive, I think we lost that next week. I think we did, so maybe we can break that one, too. That's one more thing we can put on the board and try to shoot for."

ON DARIAN COOPER...

"Check and check, perseverance, and he is a little bit goofy, in a good way, strictly in a good way. You've got to be to be a defensive lineman, especially in the interior, but he's fought hard, he's worked hard, and he's not 100 percent, and I'm sure he probably told you that today if you talked to him. But he has worked extremely hard, and it was really important to get him in. We were trying like crazy to give him an opportunity to play, and it just worked out. So really glad about that. He's not going to be 100 percent between now and the bowl. It just isn't going to happen."

"But the good news is he's a great young guy who's going to graduate. He's got a tremendous personality, and if he puts it to use in the right way, he could go really far. It could be a real attribute, could be a disadvantage sometimes, too. But I think he gets it; he's really done a great job. He's a first class guy and I'm really happy for him."

"He's been out there in practice the last couple weeks, and we started him out in the kiddie pool and then shallow end, and let him in the deep end a little bit last week. But to me we did that because he's earned that, and it was all about us paying him back a little bit. He's run the whole race. He's gone through a lot of tough stuff, and I talk about that all the time when you talk about guys that go through injuries. People don't understand just how lonely it is and how hard it is to fight back from that, so taht was like the least that we could do for him. He wanted to try to do it, so I was so happy."

ON THE HUSKERS' DEFENSIVE LINE...

"They've got an NFL defensive line, period, and those two guys inside, if anybody has got a better combination nationally, first thing I think of is the LSU group that we played two years ago. Those two guys were pretty good, too, and LSU in '04 had. These guys are both excellent football players, but they've got a lot of others guys, too; safety is really good, a lot of other guys that are really good players, good athletes, so taht's going to be a good match-up, touch match-up for us because their ends are big and physical guys, too, and good players, active. They've done a really good job against the run, so something is going to have to give probably."

ON TOMMY ARMSTRONG...

"You don't want him outside. That's not a good thing. When he improvises and gets out, in the last play of the game last year we let him out of the pocket and we paid for it. That's usually not a good thing, and he makes good decisions when he gets outside. Some guys don't. He keeps his eyes down the field. He'll find a guy that's open. He did it a couple times against us last year, but he can hit them out of the pocket, too. It's feast or famine on that stuff."


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