Hawks Talk: Jermelle Lewis, Hinkel and Hodge

The Iowa Hawkeyes talk about their 30-17 loss at Michigan.

JERMELLE LEWIS:

Was there ever a point where you felt like the game was out of reach?

No man. We're a fighting team. We're always going to fight. So, the game never seemed like it was out of hand.

Are you happy with the way that you're running the ball right now?

I don't know. A lot of things aren't going to way that I want it to. I can't let it get to me.

How frustrating is it not to be able to get it going?

It's very frustrating because running the ball that's what we do. It's pretty frustrating not being able to run the ball.

Is there something you guys are seeing going wrong? Is it just a lack of execution?

I guess we're just not hitting the hole the way that we need to. Maybe I'm not running hard enough or maybe we're not finishing blocks and stuff like that. But, we got to get back to the film.

Do you feel like you're not running hard enough?

No. I know we're all putting everything we have out there. We're trying our hardest to get things going out there. We're just not getting the luck of the draw.

Your yards per carry are down from the last two years. Why is that?

Just a lot of injuries up front. We just haven't been able to execute on the front line, and stuff like that. I'm missing holes. You've got to keep working at it.

The last two years, the offensive line opens big holes. When it's your time to shine that's not happening. Is that frustrating?

Of course it's frustrating, but the main thing for us is that we have to get the running game going.

Are you guys seeing progress in practice that just isn't happening on the field or are you seeing problems in practice as well?

No, not really in practice. We had a better practice this week as opposed to last week. We are doing better as far as getting the blocks up front and moving the ball. The main thing for us today were the turnovers.

What was the mix-up on the one to you Drew fumbled?

It wasn't a mix-up. It hit the fullback.

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ABDUL HODGE:

From your standpoint, you guys shut down the run pretty well.

That's what our defense tries to do. We gave up some long runs. We have to start playing physical.

Penalties hurt, too.

Yeah, any time you get a lot of penalties you're going to shoot yourself in the foot.

Do you feel better about this week than you did last week?

Really, a loss is a loss no matter how it happens. At the same time, we can take some things from this game and carry them over to next week.

We're you guys prepared better going into today?

I felt like we were prepared last week, and I felt like we were prepared this week as well. The thing is, as a team, we can't have these mistakes.

Were is this team at right now?

We've got a lot of football to play. We've only played four games. We know that we've got to get b better – defensively, offensively and special teams.

Where are you guys mentally? You haven't had to deal with back-to-back losses in some time.

We know we've got to get better. That's the mental picture right now. There's just no question about it.

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ED HINKEL:

What's the chances that the seniors will get you guys together and have a talk?

<\i>I don't know. We know what we've got to do. We've just got to keep working in practice. We lost our Big Ten opener last year and ended up having a pretty good season. We an look at that and look forward to the games coming up.

That first drive almost looked like 2002 all over again. What were you guys able to do in what seems like bits and pieces?

Just some good things that we saw on film that we could do. They adjusted later in the game. But we had a great plan coming in. We executed it pretty well, just those turnovers killed us.

When you watch SportsCenter tonight are you going to see if you made the Top 10 again?

I don't know. We'll see.

Is this a dangerous spot for you guys mentally? You guys have lost back-to-back games in quite a while.

I don't know. I mean, it's tough. It's hard to lose two straight. We've just got to put our 24-hour rule into effect and flush it on Monday and get back to work for Michigan State.

Are you seeing progress in this offense?

We're getting better, but there still are a lot of things that we can do better. We can't put our defense in bind like we did today all of the time or we're not going to win very many football games.

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