Ball St. Postgame: Johnson/Shada/Hodge

Iowa opened up the season with a rout of outmanned Ball State as the defense pitched a shutout in a 56-0 whitewash. Three of the key players - Abdul Hodge, Adam Shada and Jovon Johnson - talk about the domination in this premium quote package.


Can you describe what happened on the punt return?

Well, the other players were yelling at me to get out of the way. But, I grabbed the ball and did what I do best and took it to the house. (Clinton) Solomon is over here laughing at me because he told me I can't run. Well, I took one all the way. What does he have to say now? (laughs)

What was the blocking on that play like?

Man, they had the wall set up perfect. I used to do stuff like this in high school. I would get the ball and just reverse field and not get touched. And that is what happened today.

It was a bit unusual, given the return was not really planned.

No, it was not a planned punt return. But it happened and could not happen a better way. At first I was thinking to just let them (Ball State) down it and get Drew and the guys on the field. At the same time I did not want to get the ball inside the 10. It bounced back to me and I could not get out of the way. It worked out well, didn't it?

Do you wish you had a better test than you got today?

They had a good team, we just had a better one today. We will see what happens next week. We did not get a lot of playing time but it gave some of the young guys a chance to see the green. They did well.

It will different for you next week against the Cyclones.

Definitely. We have got a tough game on the road against Iowa State. I think they returned pretty much their whole starting lineup. We have got 24 hours to celebrate this one then it is on to prepare for next week's battle.



Can you talk about your performance today?

I don't know. I thought I had a rough first two possessions. Then I relaxed and got better and did pretty well.

What do you think made it rough for you?

It was my first game starting. I was excited to get out there and just got a bit too excited. After the first two possessions it went really well. It just took a while to calm down.

Did you enjoy getting out there and staying out there for pretty much the full game?

Yeah, who wouldn't? I love football so of course I enjoyed it. I thought our defense played pretty well, but we have some improvements to make. It was a good game all in all.

Are you starting to look forward to Iowa State?

Of course, we are going to get after Iowa State this week in films to prepare for them. We are all excited about that.

What was the feeling about going underneath the student section and on the other side of the field?

It was neat and a lot more open. It was cool.



You have got Iowa State next week. Have you guys already turned the page to get ready for that rivalry?

Yes, we have got 24 hours to celebrate this win. As soon as we get back tomorrow we will be allowed to look forward to that game. We will study them and see what they try to do.

Did you enjoy the change in the stadium or did it not make that much difference to you?

It doesn't not make a difference. But it is good for our fans and good for our football program that we have renovated that end zone. It just looks great.

Were there any extra jitters in your stomach, considering this is the first game of your final college season?

It is just like every other game. You go at it like it is your last because you never know when it is going to end. You just have to go out there and enjoy it just like it was your last one.

Did Jovon set the bar for you guys to have to go out and get one now?

Nah, you know that Joe is and athlete and made a heads up play. The guys that were on defense gave him some good blocks and he took it all the way.

What does the shutout mean to you?

It is real big. Anytime a defense steps up their game it is always nice to get that zero on the scoreboard. Not only did the "ones" do well, but the guys that went in there after us did well, too.

What do you think of the defensive line play?

They played real well. (Bryan) Mattison was getting it done and making some plays. (Matt) Kroul was putting some pressure on the quarterback. They had a sack or two. Those guys are young, but they are getting it done. It is good that we played this game and got some experience because we are going to need it for next week.

Can you talk about next week?

You know that when you play Iowa State they are going to have a good football team. They have a lot of guys back from last year. This is a big game for us, we need to focus. Everybody has got to be ready to go.

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