In Their Own Words

The Iowa Hawkeyes were very excited after reclaiming the Cy-Hawk trophy for the first time in five years. Read what they had to say after Iowa beat ISU for the 16th time in the last 21 years.


Q: By the post-game celebration, this obviously was not just another game.

MR: They beat us the last five years. Even though I've only been a part of the last two, it means a lot when we come here, especially for the Iowa (natives). They just hate each other. You grow onto that.

Q: Did you hear the Iowa and Iowa State guys from Iowa going at it out there on the field today?

MR: I heard some talking. Some of them went to the same high schools and stuff. They hate each other. They really do. You grow on to hate them too, even us out of town (state) guys.

Q: Grant Steen seemed to redeem himself today.

MR: He had a good day. I remember last year he made a lot of good plays. Bu there was one that got away from him. I know he wanted to get back here and make a lot of good plays and get the win.

Q: How important was it to come out in the second half and kind of stick it to them?

MR: We had some trouble last year finishing in the second half. I think it was nice to come out and really put a whooping to them. Last year, they came out and rallied.

Q: Did you feel the wind getting sucked out of their sails in the fourth quarter?

MR: We're always going to wear them down because we've got guys that were linebackers playing end and ends that are playing tackle. So, we feel that we have the advantage.

Q: What did today mean to you guys?

MR: We wanted the W more than anything. It means a lot to the Iowa guys to beat their friends and the coaches that didn't recruit them or recruited them.


Q: What was going on with you and Lane Danielsen on the punt returns where he threw you to the ground?

EH: I really don't know. I guess he's allowed to do whatever he did to me. I was talking to the ref about it. The second time he came down, I just tried to get down and defend myself a little bit and he kind of flipped over me I guess.

Q: Did the referees explain it as something that he was allowed to do?

EH: I really don't understand how he explained it. I just went on with the next play. I guess whatever he did was legal.

Q: Coach Ferentz had said that he felt a little offended that there was talk this week that this game was more important to Iowa State. Did you guys feel the same way?

EH: We heard the stuff. It didn't really bother us at all. We knew that we wanted this game as bad as anybody else. We came out and we showed that we wanted it.

Q: Did anything need to be said at halftime?

EH: A couple of people made some comments about what happened last year. We were determined that that wasn't going to happen this year. And we came out, and did a great job.


Q: Did it seem weird that you guys had another big halftime lead?

NK: It's not often in life that you get to correct the mistakes you make. You look at it, and it's eerily similar. You have to take advantage of any second opportunities that you get. Here were in the same situation that we were in last year. We weren't going to let it slip away again.

Q: Did you guys talk about it?

NK: Yeah, it was a good rallying cry. When we came out there (in the second half), it just seemed like they were on their heels a little bit. They didn't even get past their own 50 in the third quarter.

Q: What do the records (most points in a game and most points in a career at Iowa) mean to you?

NK: I gauge my success as a football player by how I contribute to the team winning ball games. Look at what Rob Houghtlin did. He helped the team tremendously during his career, making so many clutch kicks. That's kind how I want to be remembered. To say that I'm the best kicker in Iowa football history, that's not right. Rob Houghtlin did just as much for his team. He deserves the same credit as I do. It's the old cliché that Records are meant to be broken.

Q; Were you guys offended by some of the talk that Iowa State wanted this game more than you guys?

NK: To make that comment really isn't fair. It's basically been a matter of execution the last five years. To say that we have less heart than them really isn't true. You kind of take that to heart actually. It was a little bit of bulletin board material for us.

Q: Was that first kick, a 42-yard into a stiff wind, stored up energy from not getting a field goal attempt the first two weeks?

NK: Looking back at it, that's probably one of the most challenging kicks that I've had. I hadn't kicked a field goal since the first quarter of the Orange Bowl. Having sat out those first two games, I felt more like a GA or a coach than I did a player. There's was a lot of anxiety wondering if I could still make a field goal after nine months.


Q: How special was this win?

JB: They're all special, but this one meant a lot. There's a lot of pride in this state and in this game. It felt great that we dominated the game today.

Q: Did you do something different after Flynn got loose for the touchdown run?

JB: That was kind of a busted play. We were in man, so everybody had their guy. He just got away. We came back and tightened it up.

Q: As nice as it would have been to celebrate at Kinnick, how enjoyable was dancing around on their field?

JB: It's good to celebrate on an opponent's field. Sometimes, that's better than celebrating at home. Today was a great day to come out and beat these guys on their home field.


Q: Can you speak to the remarkable turnaround this program has made during the last five seasons?

RG: This staff has done a great job. When they came in, we didn't have the tools to win. We didn't have the attitude or the way to go about things at that time. The coaches did a great job of staying the course. It's great for them. Coach Ferentz's record does not speak to what he has done for this program.

Q: There was a perception that this game meant more to Iowa State than you guys. Did that bother you?

RG: I felt offended and a lot of guys did that people were saying that this game didn't mean as much to us and the trophy doesn't mean anything to us. I don't know where people get that or come off saying that. This game means a great deal to us. We just haven't had the luck the past five years. The past couple of years we've had maybe a better team, but we didn't do the things we needed to do to win. That's a credit to them. They played off our mistakes. To get this win and get it back at Iowa, is awesome. We put the notion to sleep that this doesn't mean anything to us. It's a huge game.

Q: It would have been nice to break the streak at Kinnick, but was it nice to celebrate here?

RG: It's awesome to be in Kinnick. We have great fans. But getting a win on the road, there's nothing better, you know, winning on somebody else's turf. We're going to have a great bus ride home.


Q: What did you anticipate this feeling like and does it feel like that?

NC: Yeah, it was great. We had some time out there on the field to enjoy it before it was over. We got some of second-string guys in to experience it. That's why you play in big games like this.

Q: Were you nervous to start the game?

NC: I was calm. I have confidence in my guys up front and my receivers and my running backs. There's no reason to be worried about anything.

Q: Coach Ferentz said that it was offensive that the talk before the game stated that this game meant more to Iowa State. Did that bother you guys too?

NC: Yeah. Definitely. As ball players, we come out every week intense and focused on that game. I don't know how you get more focused or care about a game more than that. We went out and had a great week of practice, and we expected to come out and play well.

Q: Is it a planned play when you roll out and run down the field and get knocked out at about the five?

NC: I think we'll try that one a little more often. No, it was just a regular naked bootleg. They were in man coverage. They had their backs to me. There was pretty good coverage on that play, but nobody for the quarterback. So, you just go until you get stopped.

Q: What do you guys need to do to punch more into the end zone?

NC: We need to have high intensity and good execution. I don't feel like nobody out there didn't want to score. I just think it's an emotional game. We just have to watch film and find out what mistakes we're making in the red zone.

Q: Will you guys get the tight ends more involved in the passing game as the season progresses?

NC: Most of our offense is to take what the give us. And, we put the tight end in a lot of routes. They're very much like what Dallas was running last year. Right now, we haven't needed the pass a whole lot, so we really haven't gotten very deep into our passing scheme. When we have, our first and second options have been open a lot. We haven't had to check down too much. And it seems like when we do check down, twice the fullback has been open to the right. One was a touchdown. One was a big play.

Q: What is your appreciation level of this win being someone who grew up outside of the state?

NC: It's a Hawkeye State. That's what I want to hear.

Q: What was said at halftime?

NC: Not much needed to be said. It was about going out and holding onto the football and using the clock. We have some things to improve on from the second half. But we got the W and the scoreboard looked good.


Q: Did you come from the same side (left) on both blocked punts?

SC: Yeah. It was the same punt block that we ran both times.

Q: Did you guys see something coming into the game or did it develop during the game?

SC: It was a devised plan. We watched film on how they protected the punt. Coach (Darrell) Wilson, he's smart. He knows what he's doing. It was obviously a great block that we had running this week and it worked twice. I couldn't believe that it worked a second time. It's a team effort when a punt gets blocked. There's a guy that clears out this side or a guy that clears out that side.

Q: How much film work do you guys do on special teams?

SC: We spend like the first half hour of practice on special teams. Coach Ferentz stresses special teams. I don't know if we spend as much time or more on special teams. It's been a huge advantage for the Hawkeyes the last couple of years.


Q: What did that trophy look like after only seeing pictures of it?

JC: It could have said anything it wanted to. It looked great to us. It's just great to have it in our possession.

Q: Coach Ferentz said that this team is no longer fragile. You agree?

JC: He brought up the point before the game about Michigan the last two years. One year, we didn't respond to adversity and we did last year. Last year, we didn't respond to adversity in the second half against these guys. This year we did. That was a big.


Q: Did you think about the play here two years ago at all today?

GS: I thought about it last year in Indiana. Since then, it's been a focus anytime you get close to the ball. When you get a chance, you've got to squeeze the ball. I think everybody on our team learned from that.

Q: Do you guys work on that in practice?

GS: We'll do a strip drill. We'll do, you get a pick and somebody comes from behind and punches at it.

Q: Is it called the Grant Steen drill?

GS: (Laughs). I don't know. Maybe Norm Parker would say it is. But I'm not going to say it is.

Q: What does it mean to get that CyHawk Trophy finally?

GS: Coach Ferentz put more emphasis on this game, and the trophy is something you get when you win it. It's not like we were going out, "We want the trophy. We want the trophy." We want to win. You get a trophy too. That's great.

Do you feel redeemed?

GS: Definitely. They had a great team the last two years. This year was no different. But we prepared hard. Everybody put a little extra time into their film work. It paid off. We had some definite keys out there when they got into sets. You knew what the routes were.

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