Carbon Copy: Kirk Ferentz's Opening Statements

In his opening statements this week, Kirk Ferentz addresses the issue of inappropriate t-shirts that were in and around Kinnick for the Michigan game, he talks about Penn State and he gives us an injury report. Ferentz's voice began to waver when talking about three of his players undergoing surgery today.

Kirk opens up each press conference with a few thoughts before entertaining questions from the Iowa media. Today, he begins by talking about President's Skorton's comments on some of the t-shirts that were in and about Kinnick for the Michigan game and the inappropriate language that was displayed on some of them.

"I would like to encourage all of our fans (to not wear things like that), and I think the vast majority of our fans are great all of the way through. I don't get to partake in the tailgating activities and quite frankly I was not aware of any t-shirts or any inappropriate messages until someone brought them to my attention after the game, as I do not look up into the stands. But one thing that players and coaches appreciate is the electricity and the loyalty that our fans have given to us through good times and bad times, and I think Iowa fans have always enjoyed a stellar reputation."

"I just want to encourage everyone to come to the games and partake in the proper spirit. We have tried to get our team to play with that spirit and I think a high percentage of our fans have been outstanding. I am not out here to tell anyone how to act, I am not pretending to."

"I would just like to think that it's (Kinnick) a great place for people of all ages and children. I am a parent, and I think it's a great place for everyone to go and enjoy the game and I think that has been a great tradition at Iowa. I am very hopeful that is what continues to take place and that there can be some improvements there as well."

"To dovetail off of that, one of the highlights of the weekend coming home the other night, the President of Miami Air, who charters us around, happened to fly the plane. I kind of admire that, as he is a hands on guy, obviously."

"He flew our flight coming back (from Columbus) and I went to thank him afterwards in terms of their service to us. He made the comment, and these are not my words, ‘We just want you to know coach that your team is one of the three favorites of our flight crews.' And I asked him who the other two were, and I am not going to name them. But that made me feel good because those are the people that work and service the passengers. The other two programs, one is a prominent and traditional program and the other is one that I have admired and they have made great strides in the last 10 years and I think they are nationally respected right now."

"I am a firm believer in how people conduct themselves shows up out there on the field. That was a real highlight of the weekend and it was great to hear that. To me, that fits in with our fans. They have been fantastic and I hope we can keep that going. We are glad to be back in Kinnick on Saturday and it ought to be another great crowd just like the last two times out. Hopefully we can play a great game and make it a great day."

"As for captains, we are going to go with Robert Gallery and Edgar Cervantes on offense and on defense, Bob Sanders and Jared Clauss."

"On the injury front, I don't think there is much of a chance that Mo Brown will be out there. His rehab continues to go well. It has been an arduous road, no doubt about that, not unlike what Bob (Sanders) is going through. Bob all of the sudden has just broken through it and we are hoping that Mo does that in the near future. It could be this week, but I don't know if that is realistic."

"The other two guys probably in the most danger right now are Ed Hinkel and James Townsend. Neither one of them will practice today. I don't know what odds we have on getting those guys back on Saturday, but I think everyone else has a chance."

"Then we have a very busy day in surgery. The doctors have already concluded surgery on Jonathon Babineaux, which went well (ankle). Brian (Ferentz, MCL) is in there right and Ma'Quan (Dawkins, ACL)will be in there this afternoon, so…(voice begins to break up)…you know, it's a tough day that way. So uh…….anyway. That is part of the deal. I do feel badly for all three of those guys. It is a tough, tough thing. It is the hardest thing that you deal with in coaching, seeing a young man disappointed (voice breaking again). But we know all three of those guys are going to bounce back and they have great futures ahead of them. We expect all three of them to be ready and fully recovered within a fair amount of time."

"It was a tough day for us on Saturday, it was a hard ballgame, we talked about that. It came down to turnovers and special teams, and those things are so critical for us. It is one of those things that we have to play through and we have to clean things up this week. We plan on doing that. We will move on, and we will have to move on because I think we are going to have a big challenge with Penn State. I think right now that their record is a bit misleading."

"If you look at the details, they have played three Big Ten teams that are all excellent football teams. They have all been toss up ballgames with a mistake here and a mistake there. If you look at them defensively, it is interesting to me that a lot has been made of their rush defense giving up a lot of yards. But if you look at the big picture right now, it's a little bit like us last year on defense. We were giving up some passing yards but doing pretty well overall in terms of points and getting the job done winning and losing. Right now, Penn State is giving up 340 yards per game on defense, and they have only given up 12 touchdowns now in 7 ball games. That is a pretty good statistic."

"Offensively, they are expecting Mills to be back and he threw for about 500 on us last year. The other young man, Robinson, is a guy that can threaten you in a lot of ways. He threw the ball extremely well in his debut; he is also a dangerous runner. They also have a dangerous running back in freshman Austin Scott. So they have some players."

"They have had some special teams break downs that have hurt them, we know about that a little bit, but I think typical of Penn State, they are a team that is very talented; they have a lot of excellent athletes, they are young in certain positions and I think that those guys are improving weekly and knowing about the history of their program and Coach Paterno's background, typically when they hit a bump in the road, they rally and bounce back pretty strong."

"We saw that a couple of years ago and I have seen it through the years watching their program pretty closely. They have two weeks to get ready for this one and they were watching up closely on Saturday."

"Our focus, again, is getting our team better and ready to play. That is where we are at at this given point. So hopefully we can do that, get back together today and have a great week of preparation. It ought to be a great day on Saturday."

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