Carbon Copy: Kirk Ferentz Post Game Part II

In part two of Kirk Ferentz's press conference with the media after the game, Iowa's head coach talks about Albert Young's status, injuries to the offense in general, Iowa State 2004 v Iowa State 2003, Jermelle Lewis, Matt Roth, Special Teams, the offensive line and more....

Give us an update on Albert Young.

"It is a concern right now. He sprained his knee, but we really won't know for sure until they examine it Monday. But it's definitely a concern."

The offense is kind of taking a hit by these injuries.

"Yeah, we've lost, in the course of two weeks, Albert (Young) today and Marcus (Schnoor) last week. Matt Melloy went down during the week. And Todd Plagman came out in the fourth quarter, end of the third. So it is concerning when you factor we came in a couple of guys short. It is a concern right now and that has entered my mind. It really has made me think about some things."

What is the status of Plagman's injury?

"Todd's was an ankle and I think right now we have good news. That is one of the positives that came out. We have taken our hits. Another positive is Matt Melloy's is a not a surgery type thing it is a sprain. We are looking at weeks there and not days. That's tough."

Is there a dramatic difference between the Iowa State of last year and the Iowa State of this year?

"I think yes and no. We saw Iowa State on tape at the end of the season. Once this game is over, we just kind of follow scores and that is it. I think that last year, what was unusual about that ball game was two blocked punts. That really changes the complexion of the game. But if you take those kinds of plays away, it has been one of those things that whoever has the best team really doesn't matter. It is a sixty-minute ball game.

I think last year was kind of an aberration on that one. We expected this one to be tough and down to the wire. Somebody mentioned the point spread on Tuesday and I think that was laughable. Point spreads and rankings at this time of year, outside of 8-10 teams in the country, are really meaningless and groundless. You are kind of throwing darts in the dirt. We will know a lot more in the next few weeks about who is what and what's what. It is very apparent right now we have a lot of work to do."

Did you think their defensive line would handle your offensive line like that?

"Well, no I didn't. They had some young guys, too. I know (Brandon) Johnson did not play, if he did he was not in their very long. And unfortunately, (Brent) Curvey was injured. I hope he is OK, I do not know what his status is. They really have some young players in there, too. We have work to do and it is very apparent."

Was getting Jermelle Lewis back a good thing?

"Yeah, that was good. We just did not give him a lot of help today. We did not give him enough running room to get going. Jermelle is a guy who does have energy and he is a veteran player. He has had the problems with the knee injury a year ago, but at least he has been out there in game conditions. We are really are going to have to lean hard on those guys with game experience. We need everybody else to catch up with those guys."

Are offensive lines giving Matt Roth extra attention?

"Matt is going to get his share and he knows that. That is the price you pay for being an explosive player, and he is that. We saw all kind kinds of blocking schemes today. Not that any of it was unexpected. You are not going to match one guy up for him play in play out for a whole game. I don't think anyone could do that. That being said, he has to get his share of match ups and hopefully he can win. He is always working out there and digging out there. It looked like he was getting his share of attention."

What did you think of your special teams?

"We need improvement there, obviously. Our kickoff coverage was fine if we kick it out of the endzone. If we don't, it is pretty bad right now. Our punt team is bad right now, even though we have some injuries. It looked they tipped that last punt when we had a chance to put it down there deep and put the game away. We could not do that. We are going to have to up it there also. We had a problem on a field goal today, too. It was kicked a little low and we had leakage on our right side. So we have work to do."

With the offensive line, is it one person breaking down?

"Right now we just do not have the cohesiveness and tempo as a group. There are no easy ways to attain that. I have spent a lot of years in that area and there are no easy paths. We have been there before; we will probably be there again. Things got a little tougher during the off-season. Nothing is going to change. We need to worry about getting a little better. Improvement will not be dramatic or radical in the next two weeks. We have to keep plugging. We are a lot like we were a year ago, offensively. By no means were we an offensive juggernaut. The key this is by October we want our best. That is what we have to push for right now."

Of Drew Tate's 22 pass attempts, I counted at least eight that were 20+ yards to make a completion. Was there a tendency in Iowa State's safeties in coverage or just Drew making the reads?

"Not necessarily. It was not so much about them as it was about us. We did not throw much of that stuff last week. If we want to move the ball, we have to do that successfully

How effective was Norm Granger's speech?

"He was terrible. He was terrible! Anybody from Waterloo, are you kidding me? Norm was great. He was like 35 years old when he played. He was a sophomore when I got here. I forgot that he was a two-time captain and co-MVP. When I got here in 1981, he was like a 35-year-old guy out there. He was outstanding and so solid. I told him he should get into coaching because he does a lot better job talking to our team than I do. That is the way he played, that is the way he lives. His address was perfect.

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