Iowa Head Coach Kirk Ferentz Excited About Rose Bowl Bid

Kirk Ferentz is excited about Iowa's bid to the Rose Bowl.

Iowa has had a roller coaster of a weekend. They suffered a heartbreaking loss to Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship Game on Saturday night. The effort was all there and every tank was emptied but they just came up inches short of a berth to the college football playoff. However, the consolation prize isn't too shabby. It's a trip to the Rose Bowl to play Stanford. 

It is Iowa's first Rose Bowl appearance since 1991 and Kirk Ferentz's first as head coach. He wrapped it all up today at his press conference.

ON THE ROSE BOWL AS A WHOLE...

"We're just absolutely thrilled to get the news today about being invited to the Rose Bowl and to play Pac-12 champion, Stanford. They're an excellent football team. The Rose Bowl is a Granddaddy of them all. You think about the Rose Bowl, you think about tradition, you always play a tremendous opponent. That certainly will be the case this year. I think equally as important right now is our fans are really excited about this opportunity. I've gotten feedback already on that."

"Most of all, I'm really excited for our players. They have worked so hard to make this a great season, a special season, an historic season. And for them to be rewarded in this way, it's really fulfilling."

ON FIRST ROSE BOWL AS A HEAD COACH...

"It really hasn't sunk in, quite honestly. I said it last night, somebody asked about all the bowls and I really didn't give it much thought. Because number one, it was out of our control. The thing we were trying to do was win last night. But, just having a little time to think about it here, it's been 30 years on the button since last time I was there. We lost to UCLA. I remember coming back to the hotel, I was kind of down in the dumps and my wife kind of put me back and in shape, she has a way of doing that. Reminding me of what a great year it was, even though it was a tough loss."

"My first year here as an assistant, we were fortunate to go out there and play. And then the year after I left 25 years ago, they were there, too. So to your point, we thought we were going for sure in 2002. Everyone thought we were going, it didn't work out. So, to finally get that invitation, it's really special. We're really excited, but most of all I'm excited for our players."

ON RECOVERING FROM CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP LOSS...

"Certainly, last night was a tough night for us and this news is good medicine, I think, for all of us, just to ease through the tough outcome. As I said last night, I couldn't be more proud of our football team, the way they competed, the way they fought, played with great, great effort out there, and as good as I can recall. So, just really proud of their tenacity, proud of the way they act together, the close knit group. For us to be together for another month is really meaningful also."

"As tough as the game was last night, again, this gives us something to refocus on when we get back together on Tuesday. We'll start looking forward and start thinking about our preparation for a touch contest on New Year's."

ON GAINING NATIONAL RESPECT...

"I had a little bit of an opportunity to watch some of the TV this afternoon when I got back. And got some feedback from some other people that follow that stuff on social media. And this sounds like anybody that watched the game last night, you saw two teams really just fighting it out tooth and nail. It was a great, great battle, great defensive game, both teams really competed hard. And I think if you're a football fan and a football follower, you can't help but appreciate the effort of both teams. We tip our hat to them, they did a great job, they came out on top, but to me, we ran out of time. And I'm just so proud of our guys."

"So, I think that had a lot to do with it, and we played them straight up. They had their best players on the field, we had our best players on the field, it was just great a football game."

ON NATE MEIER'S TOUGHNESS...

"I think our medical staff, 'all' is probably a strong word, but it's close to. I saw Brian Wolf this morning, and he was shaking his head. But that is Nate Meier. And Nate is a tough-minded guy. So during the week, we weren't overly optimistic that he would play. Yet at the same time, you understand how he's wired. There was a lot of guys limping today getting on the bus. A lot of guys who were banged and bruised, and I'm sure they got the same thing on their side."

"But our team has been like that all season long. You think about Drew Ott playing with the elbow (injury) that he had right on through. It's just, this has been a trademark of this team. It's almost, I don't know if it's contagious, if that's the right word, but it gets back to I don't think anybody on this team wants to let their teammates down. If they can do something to help the team win, they're going to try to give it to us out there on the field. And Nate certainly did that. A bunch of guys did that last night. So, that's a good trait, certainly, and we really appreciate that."

ON JORDAN CANZERI...

"We'll find out more as the week goes on. He was in a boot today for precautionary reasons. And it's a sprain, so they're tricky. We have seen him come back in two weeks and sometimes it takes longer. So we'll keep our fingers crossed, especially for his sake. It's his last chance to play a college football game. So I sure would hope that he can be back full speed for this game. I hope both sides, their team and our team has all their players out there."


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