Hawks Talk Part Two

Comments from Matt Roth, Drew Tate, Howard Hodges, Jermelle Lewis, Nathan Chandler and Kevin Worthy. "It's hard when you make a big play and there's 70,000 fans screaming. You just get caught up in the moment. But when you are celebrating, you can't get a penalty. You have to be smart about it."--Matt Roth


Have you started to look at the BCS standings at all?

You look at it, but it's so far away. You've got to play it game by game. But we got a taste of it last year, and we want to go back.

Do you feel like you guy's built on last week's win today?

Definitely. I think we proved that we could win the games that we're supposed to and win the games that are close ones.

The sack celebration, was that something you had planned or was it an improvisation?

It was just kind of heat of the moment.

Had you seen that somewhere before?

No. We're always joking around in the locker room and just having fun.

What did Coach Ferentz say to you?

He just said to keep it in control and not to make a good play and get a stupid penalty. I respect that. You've just got to be aware of what you are doing.

You do have to be able to show a little bit of emotion, right?

It's hard when you make a big play and there's 70,000 fans screaming. You just get caught up in the moment. But when you are celebrating, you can't get a penalty. You have to be smart about it.

Disappointed that you guys lost the shutout?

No. We always are looking for the shutout, but it was great to see some of the guys that work so hard in practice to get a chance to play.

Do you guys feel good heading into Purdue?

I feel confident. Our team is playing with a lot of chemistry, offensively and defensively. It's going to be a tough game.

What difficulties does Purdue present?

They've definitely got a good scheme. They're just like us in the way that they play physical and they play hard. We respect that. We know they play physical and they play hard. We've got to match that.


Did you get a chance to see Robert's blocks?

All I can say is that I'm glad to be a Hawkeye. He was getting in some licks. I thought he was fighting out there in a boxing ring. He was laying some guys out.

He hasn't done that to you in practice has he?

Me and Gallery, we've been going at it since we were freshmen when he was a tight end and I was a Leo. I'd get him and then he'd get me. So, I'm not going to say too much. I still want to be standing next week. (laughter)

Did you teach Roth the sack celebration or did he come up with that on his own?

Matt Roth is amazing to watch after a sack. You just don't know what Matt Roth is going to do. He's got that little flex man that he does. Today, he was taking the dirt off of himself. So, he's a fun guy to watch and a fun guy to be playing with.

Matt said that you guys joke around with that stuff in the locker room. Is that true?

Yeah. Everybody goofs around in the locker room, but Matt, he takes it out on the field. I might say some crazy stuff, but when he gets on that field, whatever comes to his mind he's going to do it. It picks us up. It lets the fans get into it, and it hypes everybody up.

Should people take offense to his celebration as showboating?

I don't think so. That's a way to get him motivated for the next play. We might get one or two sacks a game, but we're in the game for 60 plays. So, when you get that sack, sometimes you just lose control.

Do you see yourself ever doing something like that?

That's just not my style. I just get back in the huddle and look towards the next play because I'm greedy. I want more sacks. I can't celebrate over one. I'm trying to get five or six. But I look forward to seeing Matt after a sack because it's electrifying the way he picks everybody up.


Are you ready for Purdue?

Yeah. That's where our focus goes. They gave us a tough game last year, and they're a tough team this year. We're going to have another great week of preparation.

What is Calvin doing better now?

He's got a good grasp of the offense. I don't know where he was at the beginning of the season because you don't get a lot of reps with a guy that's fourth string. But he's executing great right now. He's showing his speed. He's getting out there and making big plays just by being faster than other people.

Do you feel cheated that you haven't gotten to play with Brown a lot more?

No. It's what happens. You haven't heard us complain a bit about any injury that we've had. We have confidence in everybody on our team. As deep as we have to go, we feel like we have guys that are going to step up and play well for us. It's great to get Mo back. He's an outstanding player. He's a great weapon for us.

As a QB, how do you describe what he does for you and the offense in general?

He's a guy that you can count on to be open, any play, any coverage. When you make your reads, you pretty much know that Mo is going to get open for you. It's a great thing to know when you're dropping back.

Was it bizarre out there seeing Mo and Jermelle in the huddle at the same time?

Yeah. The best thing was looking and seeing the guys up front were the same guys that we had last week. That was great to see because they did really good last week. I felt like it didn't look as pretty as we wanted it to, but they did a great job up front. We knew if we cut down on some things and they continued to improve, that they could have a great game. And our offensive line played great today.

Could you see the difference in terms of cohesion and feel?

Yeah. They were close last week. This week, the time I had to pass, every one of those posts, I was out there chilling out. With every big run that Freddie makes, that Jermelle makes, that's those guys up front. You saw a lot of those plays today.

You were pretty tough on yourself last week. Do you feel better about today's performance?

We'll go back and take a look at the film. It's never as good as you think or as bad as you think. The mission is to improve. That's what you've got to set out and try to do.

What it going to take to win at Purdue?

We've got to have our best week of practice so far this year. We've got to have our best week of preparation. That takes guys coming in on their free time and studying film. We know that Purdue has a great team. They gave us a great game last year. We were lucky to get out with a win. We go into this week; it's a huge game for us. We've got to bear down and play our best.


Do you notice the cheers that happen when you get in the game?

I hear it. But I try to just block it out really.

What about that hit you took?

It was all right. I mean, I know I need to run out of bounds and stuff. I was just trying to make a play and try to get more yards out of it.

Coach Ferentz said that you made fun of Coach O'Keefe getting hit on the sidelines. Is that true?

We were on the sidelines during either a kickoff or a punt, and Coach O'Keefe was trying to tell somebody to do something and somebody just came up and nailed him. He was out. And I thought that was kind of funny.

What was the play call in the touchdown?

It was just a bootleg. That's all. I've got progressions and Matt is my last progression. It opened up, and he just made a great catch and the line did a good job blocking.

Did you feel comfortable out there?

Yeah. I felt real comfortable. It helps that I had a big lead behind my back. It just felt great to get in.

Were you worried that they were just going to have you hand off the whole time?

I figured they might. But it was the middle of the fourth, so I figured there were going to be a couple of passes here and there.


How did the nine carries sit with you?

I felt good. I had to get my second wind since it's been a while since I've done that.

Is the hamstring more of a hindrance now than the knee?

Honestly, yes. When I did it, I pretty much forgot about my knee that week. The knee is coming along real good.

How did you hurt the hamstring?

Just running, opening up.

Did you think the line looked better this week?

They looked a lot better this week. We've been struggling offensively for a lot of the games this year. It was good to see the line come together today, and throw some key blocks and get some holes open that could get us some first downs. Nate got a lot of time today. The line stepped up and did what it had to do today.

Do you feel like you're out of the woods health wise?

I feel pretty good about my health. I always have because you play football so you're liable to get hurt every week.


With Jermelle getting more work, what does that do for you?

With Jermelle coming back, he's real good with the third downs. You can just take me and Edgar out on third downs, and he can get in and he can confuse teams. Either he's going to run or pass. He has a good running style, and he can block real good. That's a real good advantage for our whole offense.

The offense was a little choppy last week. Did you guys correct some things today?

We still have some things that we have to correct. We have to go into next week against Purdue and work on them.

What's it going to take to win next week?

Just for guys to come prepared to play. I mean, I think both of our losses have been pretty much similar. We've had guys dropping some balls and the quarterback-center exchange and the turnovers. But I think all of that stuff is worked out. We should do a good job next week.

What do you think about Chris Perry getting 50 carries?/

Wow. That's a workhorse load.

You're going to have to push to get yourself that many.

Hopefully we get that next week.


What was your preparation like for this game?

I was pretty nervous the whole week just knowing I was going to get the opportunity to get out there. It was blast when I got out there.

The fact that you've been in the position of a starter before did that help you a little bit?

Yeah. It helped. It wasn't like they were just throwing me out there. I had a good idea what was going on. It was just fun to get out there and play again.

Did you change positions?

Yeah. I had been playing inside. It's a big adjustment because you have to read different stuff. That's the biggest thing.

Has it been tough for you going from being a starter to a backup?

It's been tough, but I love football, and I love to be around it. The guys that are out there, they're my friends. They're playing good and having fun. It's fun to see those guys out there. It was tough at the beginning, but I've gotten used to it.

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