Hawks Talk: Purudue Postgame

The Iowa Hawkeyes were visibly disappointed after their loss to Purdue yesterday, but some of them still showed up to answer questions from the reporters. We spoke with Nathan Chandler, Fred Russell, Howard Hodges, Mo Brown, Robert Gallery and Chad Greenway and have their post game comments in this report.

Howard Hodges

Were you surprised that Purdue ran the ball so well?
Yeah. Especially the way this season and last season we kept teams under 100 yards. They came out, they had a game plan and they executed it.

It seemed like you guys were honoring their passing game.
Coming into the game, we pretty much respected their pass game. That was one of our main objectives, to stop their pass. We had a feeling they were going to come out there and do that the whole game. At the same time, we didn't give up on the run.

It seemed like they got a lot of things between the tackles.
You can say it was between the tackles. But at the same time, he got inside of me. So, the ball was getting inside. There's really no one to blame.


Can you talk about the untimely penalties?
No penalties are good. When a team plays as well as Purdue, you can't afford to do that. It's something we need to continue to work on.

How did missing the long pass to Ochoa affect you?
I don't think it affected my play. It's something where during the game you look up and think, "We should have seven." Those are plays you can't afford to make when you're going up against a team like Purdue, where every play counts. Every time you get a break like that, you need to take advantage of it.

What happened when you went out?
I got the air knocked out of me. It took a while to get it back.

Did you just get too much air under the throw to Ochoa?
You know, I just overshot him.

Can you build on the fact that you guys did not let this game get out of hand?
There were some positives there at the end. It's great to look around and see all of your guys battling. You can't as for anything more in each other.


Did their balance on offense hurt you guys?
They're a great offense that came ready to play today. We couldn't stop it when we needed to. They ran the ball, and we couldn't stop it.

Did it surprise you that they ran the ball that much?
No. We saw on tape that they were running more this year. We just needed to stop them, and we didn't.

Did you give up a little when you went to the 3-4?
We gave up a little. But we were pretty affective when we used it. We were smart when we used it. We used it mostly in passing situations. We didn't really get burned by that.

What about the blitz?
We tried to get in there and get them off of their game a little bit. It didn't really hurt us. They got a couple of hits on us.

They scored the touchdown on that dump pass. That was a blitz right?
Yeah. We worked on it all week. We just didn't execute.


Coach said the penalties cost you guys in the first half.
Definitely. It just killed us. It kills the momentum. It kills the drives. They cost us big plays. If we want to get those big plays, we can't have that.

It seemed like you guys were out of rhythm in the first half, but got it going in the second half.
We have got to start faster. We haven't been doing that. It kills us when we get down like that and try to come back. There's not enough time for that. We need to come out and start fast.

Can you put a finger on why you guys start slow?
I have no clue. It's just doing things right. It's not guys out there trying to mess up. Things just aren't going right. It's killing us. We have to change it.

You have two top caliber opponents coming up.
Yup. We have two games left, and it's real important. We're going to do what we can to finish up strong.

Are you playing for a better bowl game?
Yeah. We've got seven wins. There's an opportunity to get two more. That's our goal. The season's not over.


How do you feel?
I feel all right. I'm at about 70 percent. I can't make the cuts that I want to. But, I'm out there trying.

What is causing the penalties?
I'm not sure. I'll have to look at the tape. It might be a lack of concentration. It's obviously details. We have to turn that around.

Were you the guy they called for not being on the line of scrimmage on your touchdown?
They said it was me. I don't think I was off of the ball. I'm pretty sure I was on the line.

Why come back at 70 percent and possibly risk your football future?
It's stable now. I've got two screws acting as my ligaments right now. I want to play. I don't want to miss eight games in my senior year. I want to play with the guys.

You've had a lot of time to observe the offense this year. Can you tell why things haven't clicked?
We just shoot ourselves in the foot. That's what it comes down to. Penalties. Turnovers. Stuff like that. I have no answers other than to pay attention to detail.


You guys performed better in the second half. What was the cause of the slow start?
We made some adjustments. We found out their strengths and tried to attack some of their weaknesses.

It seems like you guys are more disappointed by this loss than you were the other two. Why?
Yeah because these guys outplayed us. We had a turnover at the end, but we just simply got outplayed. That's not like us.

With two games left, are you now playing for a better bowl?
Yeah, that what it looks like.

What did you think about Sean Phillips?
I knew he was real good and he did a real good job of shutting down his side. He told me not to run to that side. We stopped running to that side. He did a real good job.

How do the missed plays play out in the huddle?
We don't get into pointing fingers. We're a team. That type of stuff happens.

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