What's your take on Saturday's matchup?
There's two really good defenses. If you can limit turnovers and take time off the clock and march down the field and put points on the board, whatever team that is, they're going to win.
You said you would be prepared for actual game speed after playing against Iowa's No. 1 D. Did that ring true on Saturday?
It was a little different since it was a game. But after the first or second drive, everything started to get normal to me. I started seeing things a lot better. I was a little quick at first. As the game went on, I felt more comfortable and I think everybody around me felt more comfortable. We just got in sync as a unit.
Is there anything that you're going to do different this week to avoid the whole dehydration mess?
Yeah. I'm going to start taking salt tablets and things like that on Wednesday. I'm going to drink a lot more water and a lot more Powerade and stuff.
Was that something that you recovered from pretty quick?
Yeah. They put three bags of glucose in me. My legs were weak at first. But after that day, I was fine. I'm fine right now.
Is there a rivalry like this in Texas? There really isn't a Texas State.
It's kind of like a Texas-Texas A&M. That's a big thing. There's a Texas Tech-Texas. All of those schools, there's kind of a rivalry when the interstates play. It's like Oklahoma-Oklahoma State; LSU-Arkansas. I've seen a lot of rival college games. This is no different. I was around it last year. I'm sure a lot of players on our team are looking especially forward to this game. They also know that this is another game on the schedule. They can't change the way that they play. They need to do what they're supposed to do.
Is there a group of guys on the team that try to make sure that the guys from Texas, the guys from Connecticut, guys from wherever know what a big deal it is for the Iowa kids?
Not really. Last year, nobody really talked about it or anything. There were things said. But not like, "Now that you're here, you need to know this."
Coach said after the game that you need to work on sliding. Have you done that or do you anticipate doing that or does that take you out of your game?
Well, if I need to. A couple of times I ran out of bounds. But if it's third and something or second and something, sometimes you can get the first down. You've got to do what you've got to do. That's the way that I feel. But I understand where Coach Ferentz is coming from.
Coach said that he hasn't decided who will start Saturday between you and Jermelle. Do you feel like you earned the nod with last weekend's performance?
I wasn't going out there to be No. 1 on the depth chart. I just wanted to go out there nad show the coaches that I could do it in a game time situation. All they've been seeing is what I could do at practice and scrimmages. It was just good to go out there and show them what I could do and just be in the mix. That's all I wanted to have a chance to prove.
Do you really feel like you're up Jermelle's back and challenging for that top spot?
You have to have at least two backs in college football. We're fortunate to have three. But Marcus went down. That will hurt us. But if you look all over the country, there's team with backs. Minnesota is a great example. Wisconsin, they have so many backs. You can't just go the whole Big Ten schedule with one tailback. Things are just bound to happen throughout the season.
It's good having him back. I'm glad he's back. Maybe I don't have to get so many reps. (laughs) Maybe I'll get a little break in. It's been rough the last couple of weeks.
How did you feel on Sunday?
I felt good. Of course, you're going to feel the bumps and bruises and being sore. But it wasn't as bad as I thought that it was going to be. I feel good now. We got all of the soreness out on Sunday. We got a little run in, a little work out.
What did you see on tape in terms of what you did well and might need to work on going forward?
Just the speed of some teams. Things are a little different with Kent State compared to going up against our defense every day. Things tend to move a little faster. I guess that I might have been hitting things a little bit too hard and not being as patient as I should have been. I saw that on tape. That's going to be corrected on Saturday.
Were you guys happy with how the running game went on Saturday? It stalled some.
Yeah. I was. We got the win. That's all that matters.