Ferentz, Hawkeyes Safely in Orlando

Kirk Ferentz was asked a few questions shortly after Iowa arrived in Orlando over the weekend, and Capital One Bowl representatives sent out this release, with quotes from Ferentz.

On Weather (temperatures were around 57 degrees with threatening skies) …

"This is perfect. A perfect transition for us. It was a little chillier yesterday when we left Iowa City, so this was a good way for us to get started out.

"It was single digits yesterday and even colder today, so nobody's complaining in our group."

On arriving in Orlando before Christmas …

"Basically there's no reason to hang around Iowa City right now. A couple of years ago we tried letting the guys go back for Christmas, and it's just too tough. Our team's really spread out geographically, so we made the decision after the Orange Bowl (in 2003) that we're better off traveling as a team. We did the same thing last year (in Tampa for the Outback Bowl) and it gives us the chance to get in town and get settled a little bit."


"We've got an excellent opponent, I know that. I've seen enough film of LSU and they've been extremely tough for quite some time. Last year they had a great football team. This year they had a young team at the initial part of the season, but really improved as the season went on, winning six games and looked as good as they had looked all season in that last game on the road at Arkansas.

"We're a team that's kind of gotten by by the skin of our teeth all season long. We're going to have our work cut out."

On expectations for Capital One Bowl game …

"The strength of our team is defense. It's been that way all season long. We've had a lot of running backs hurt and our line has been a little shaky at times due to injuries, so we're kind of patching it together offensively.

"Best case scenario for us is a defensive battle. They've got an excellent defense, too. They're third in the country (statistically in total defense). So that's probably the two teams' strengths.

"The big edge goes to them in the running game. They've run the ball very, very well and it's going to be a great challenge for us."

On Drew Tate

"Drew's just done a remarkable job this year. If you'd have seen our Arizona State game you would have thought it would be a miracle for us to win another ballgame. We looked terrible in every phase, offensively especially. We just couldn't do anything – run the ball, throw the ball. Since that time Drew's really gotten a grasp of what it is he's supposed to do. He's done just a fantastic job, and I think what he's done is even more remarkable given the fact that our run game has been pretty anemic.

"The fact that he's been productive while taking good care of the football is pretty impressive for a first-year starter."

On LSU's current coaching situation …

"You know there's really no way to predict what kind of affect that will have. I think it can sometimes rally a team, other times it can be a distraction. So there's no way for me to predict. We have to anticipate that they're going to play their best game – that's what the tapes would indicate." Note: These quotes were issued by the Capital One folks prior to Saban's announcement

On similarity between himself and LSU Coach Nick Saban in regards to NFL jobs …

"I've addressed this a lot with our media at home. It's been a little bit of a topic the last two years, only because we're winning.

"It's become a sport like following recruiting is a big sport right now (like) the draft in the NFL. So I think there are some parallels and it's great for filling time on ESPN and in newspapers, but I think every case is different. Certainly, Nick's had opportunities to go to the National Football League. They haven't been right for him for whatever reason. And the same for me. I like it where I'm at, and I think Nick likes it where he's at, and he's done a fantastic job. It appears that this one is one that he's got to mull over a little bit."

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