Kirk Ferentz: "We took it right on the chin"

Kirk Ferentz met with the media following Saturday's loss to Ohio State. Ready what Iowa's head coach had to say in this premium transcript.

Kirk Ferentz: Obviously, first of all I just wanted to congratulate Ohio State for the great football game the played. It was pretty much a one sided football game both ways. There's really not much to say outside of that I thought they controlled both lines, the executed very well, whatever concerns they may have had offensively coming in, they've been well versed, it looks like they cured those today. Probably the only two things I saw on our side that were positive it looked like our kicking game was very good up until out last kick return, which was a debacle. I thought our guys continued to compete. Outside of that, we have a lot of work to do. We've got to come up wit ha little better plan and we're going to have to do a better job executing it

Q: Can you put a finger on what's wrong with the passing attack right now?

Ferentz: It's like any time we haven't performed well, which we went though the same thing two weeks ago, it's a team effort. It starts with protection, route running, you name it, throwing the football. We certainly have not looked like a cohesive, smooth running group when we're throwing the football. We have at times, but not consistently.

Q: Is this more disconcerting in the context of two weeks ago?

Ferentz: Not even close. Two weeks ago it was all about turnovers, not all about, but turnovers were a major factor. Easy to pinpoint what we needed to clean up. Not that those weren't forced, there were a few of those, but this is a tough one. We took it right on the chin.

Q: Did you feel fortunate being down only 17 at halftime?

Ferentz: Yeah, no question. If you look at the stats at halftime, I don't remember them exactly, but it was a very one sided game, that's pretty much how it finished up. I think Ohio State did a great job controlling both lines and it all starts right there.

Q: You couldn't take advantage of all the Ohio state fumbles.

Ferentz: Yeah, exactly, and that hurts too. You get an opportunity to get some field position and you can't do anything with it, it's going to catch up with you, especially on the road against a very good football team. From where I'm sitting, obviously, they looked like a legitimate top 10 type football team today, I don't see a lot of weaknesses on their football team. It's four games into it, but they look very very strong.

Q: What's your biggest concern right now?

Ferentz: (Laughs) Getting home safely, how's that? (Pause) I'm serious.

Q: Were you worried, when Drew spiked the ball, it cost you guys 5 yards.

Ferentz: Yeah, I've got to read a rule book because I thought for sure that was a 15 yarder too. I'm worried about that. I know the cause of it, but it's still a dumb play.

Q: Were you dumbfounded a little bit by what Ohio State did running the ball?

Ferentz: Only in the sense that they haven't really attempted to run the ball they way they did today, this year, basically. They just took it and ran it at us. It's a good strategy, certainly but more importantly they executed it very very well. I think I said during the week, to me, the biggest thing I saw in this football team, talking about Ohio State now, compared to a year ago, a year ago they were young on both lines, and this year they're veteran on both, that's what showed up today.

Q: The fact that you had so many starters back on offense, does that make this more perplexing in a way?

Ferentz: No, I don't think so. Every year's different, every year is new, it takes 11 guys to make the offense work. I don't think so. I've never come into any season assuming anything, I know a lot of people got carried away perhaps about our potential. Potential is potential. Look up in the dictionary what it means. What we do on the field is what counts and it takes all 11 guys, and we're not there yet.

Q: (From an OSU reporter) Kirk, I don't see you guys play every week

Ferentz: (Interrupting) You probably are lucky, go ahead.

Q: I don't know if you normally isolate (Chad) Greenway on a receiver like Gonzales, but how did that happen so often?

Ferentz: We have a scheme that we play, our linebackers are very involved in underneath coverage, it's tough. I haven't surveyed the entire Big Ten, but I can't imagine a lot of teams in our conference or country that have better receivers than Ohio State, more dangerous receivers. You start with Holmes and Ginn, then throw Gonzales in who's an excellent football player. That wasn't just Chad, we don't customarily lock a guy one on one, man coverage with a guy like that.

Q: (On what you can do to fix the offense)

Ferentz: We'll probably have to eliminate some things, and probably have to do a better job of focusing on some things, as coaches. Then we're going to have to execute better on the field. We've been down this road before, we're 4 games into it now, we as coaches, if we're paying attention, we should have a better idea of what we can do and what we can't do. You've got to try and steer the car in that direction. That's the challenge that's at hand right now.

Q: Is composure an issue for your guys on the road?

Ferentz: I think it's an issue anywhere. If you don't play with composure, it's hard to be effective. It's a fine line. When you get beat like we got beat today, every game looks tough, first of all. We knew coming in we had a tough schedule.

Q: The speed option, it seemed like that was a bread and butter play for Ohio State.

Ferentz: We knew coming in, basically the tough thing, they like to spread you out, when you have a quarterback in the backfield that has the ability to win with his feet. You've got 4 or 3 wide outs, whatever personnel group you may be in, plus two backs in there. You kind of have to choose your poison in terms of how you want to play defensively. Teams that have effective running quarterbacks, a guy like Troy Smith or a guy like Drew Stanton, it poses some problems for you.

Q: You talked about the Iowa State game. Iowa State and this game, a very slot start, do you get the sense that it's more a psychological thing or a mechanical thing?

Ferentz: I don't know if I can say, it's probably a little bit of each. The bottom line is, we didn't play well initially in either game. Today it was start o finish, outside of the special teams where I thought we performed real well, it wasn't like we were really clipping along in any area at any point in the game. Today we took one on the chin. Both chins. If we had double chins, we'd get it on both chins.

Q: There seemed like an awful lot of missed tackles.

Ferentz: Yes. Part of the credit is on their side, but also, we did a lot of things poorly today, fundamentally. When you take one on the chin, that's usually the case. You're not going to win in our conference if you're not playing well fundamentally. It starts with us, we have to do a better job of getting our guys ready.

Q: Did you come out okay injury-wise?

Ferentz: I think so, we had cramping, a couple lateral ankle sprains. I don't think we had any problems other than ego. Bruised egos.


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