Ferentz on the Minnesota Golden Gophers

Kirk Ferentz on the Minnesota football team.

Q: Is the Minnesota offensive line playing up to their capabilities?

FERENTZ: I think so. They are very talented and experienced, and good at what they do. They have a challenging scheme, and they execute very well.

Q: The last time you were in the dome, it was a special occasion. Does any one thing stick out in your mind?

FERENTZ: Umm, watching the…well, I won't go there…well, I might as well. I didn't see the goalposts come down until that night. I was at home, and I got a phone call from a friend of mine. That will not happen this week, for a couple of reasons.

The big thing that stands out to me that I remember is that we really played well. But again, we had a real senior dominated football team, that was our last game that year just like this will be their last game this year. We just had it going. Our team was clicking. The thing I remember about that year, was basically the last month of the season, I don't think I had to go to practice; nobody would have even noticed. The team was really coaching itself; they were on a roll. We were so senior dominated that year, that it would have been really tough for anyone to beat us that day, at anyplace, whether it was home, away or anywhere. It was one of those deals.

This year is a different story. We don't have as many seniors and we are hardly a well oiled machine right now. This will be a real tough game like most of our games have been.

Q: Did Iowa have to pay for the goalpost?

FERENTZ: I can't remember how it got settled. I was not worried about that, I promise you. None of my fingerprints were on that goalpost, so I am not worried about it, but I guess we did, I don't know.

Sports Information Director Phil Haddy: Their AD said he was going to send us a bill, but I don't know if they ever actually did.

FERENTZ: I think it ended up, a sort of gratuity thing.

Q: What makes Minnesota's blocking scheme so unique?

FERENTZ: They have a sound and well thought out scheme. If I was going to compare them to anyone, it would be the Denver Broncos. They are similar in a lot of ways to what the Broncos did five years ago. I have not seen them since I left the NFL. There is a little tie there, too. Dave Gibbs was the coordinator up there, and he is with the Broncos. His dad is Alex Gibbs, the line coach, so I have a feeling that they might have done some homework out there. Their linemen tend to be athletic, especially their tackles; they are good at sealing off the back side. They have excellent backs as well. They have a great scheme, good balance and they have excellent backs. They are precise in what they do.

Q: Maroney and Barber give them more power than any other team you have faced.

FERENTZ: I can't imagine that anyone has a better two deep than they do, in the country. Last year, Barber came out of our game, which helped us a little bit, but we expect both of those guys to be full speed. They are both outstanding performers.

Q: What has been their problem lately?

FERENTZ: The road has not been friendly to them, that has been a part of the problem. I don't think they have lost on the road, I think that I am correct in saying that. A little bit of inconsistency. They have played some good teams; I think that is one thing that we have seen this year in our conference. No matter who you are playing, you have to do things right. I can't remember a year where there have been so many teams winning on different Saturday's. The moral of the story is that if you are not quite ready to go on any given Saturday, it could go the other way for you. I just can't remember as much parity as we have seen this year in my last six years here.

Q: There are some in the Twin Cities who say that Glen Mason has taken the Gopher program as far as he can. What do you think about him as a coach?

FERENTZ: I think he is an excellent football coach. My six years back in the conference, they have looked extremely good to me. I am not coaching Minnesota's team, but they don't have a lot of seniors on that football team right now. Maybe that is a part of the problem on the road, as maturity can help. I suspect they will have a pretty good team next year, not that I am worried about that right now. I think they will be pretty good for quite a while.

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