Kirk Ferentz Postgame Presser

Kirk Ferentz spoke about recovering from a loss, preparing for next week, and senior leadership in his postgame press conference Saturday. Read what the coach had to say in this premium transcript.

Kirk Ferentz: It was a very tough loss for our football team. Give Northwestern all the credit. Basically it was a story of two different halves. We played very will in the first half, they won the second half, that was the most critical half of the game, obviously. Both teams played with great effort, it's a shame one team had to lose. We were the ones today, it'll be a tough one to bounce back from.

Q: How much did Drew's injury dictate your play calling in the second half?

Ferentz: I don't think it really did other than we weren't sure if he'd be able to play in the second half. He got up and did a great job. Jason did a great job jumping in there for him for one series. We played on.

Q: You used up all your timeouts early, that didn't help.

Ferentz: It would have come in handy certainly, but we felt like we needed those in the given circumstances. It would have been nice if we had a couple in our pocket there at the end.

Q: Have you ever seen a more perfect onside kick?

Ferentz: It's about as good as it can get. They executed it perfectly. Their kicker gave them a great chance, a great opportunity, their guy made the play. I'm not saying it wasn't meant to be, but they executed the plays they had to make down the stretch. You have to give them the credit.

Q: What do you tell your guys after a finish like that?

Ferentz: There's not much you can say. I think we played extremely hard. I don't know if we could have played any harder. We came into Northwestern knowing they were a team you had to play a full 60 minutes against, and we couldn't quite get the job done. We've got a hell of a challenge ahead of us now, it's going to be tough to bounce back tomorrow, and we won't bounce back tomorrow, I'm sure. Somehow, by Tuesday, we've got to get our sights on the next football game, that'll be a tough challenge for us.

Q: Where are you at with injuries right now?

Ferentz: I think Drew is the most significant. Obviously Jovon couldn't play, he's still being hampered with that muscle pull. We've got guys that are sore, but it's that time of year.

Q: On the last play, when you threw it out to Grigsby, were you hoping to get outside and find a little more?

Ferentz: You get into a situation there where you don't have a timeout, exactly. We were trying to move the thing down there. On the last play, obviously, we needed a first down, it wasn't a great situation to find yourself in. Try to get the clock stopped, move the ball, and hopefully have a shot for a field goal there at the end.

Q: Have you ever left a game, in your time at Iowa, with that same feeling as you had after this one?

Ferentz: All losses are tough. I don't know if I can rank losses, but we've had some tough ones in the past. I'm sure we'll have more in the future, hopefully none in the near future, but we'll have more. It's part of this game, you take that risk every time you play. The challenge now is to get back up on our feet.

Q: Albert Young had a great day running the ball.

Ferentz: Albert's played well all season long. He just competes, gives you everything he's got, every possible way, with or without the ball he's playing hard. He's really having a tremendous year.

Q: What about on the personal foul on Chad Greenway?

Ferentz: It's a close call. From where I'm standing, chances are those calls are going to get made. So you play on. There were still plays to be played after that. It wasn't the story of the game.

Q: You used a lot of freshmen today.

Ferentz: We're a little nicked up in certain spots, we're playing everybody that's healthy and available. Anybody that can help us win football games, we're going to get them in here.

Q: The way your defense played for 56 minutes, (talk about that).

Ferentz: I thought we had a great game plan, I thought our guys executed it, the most part, very very well. They played hard. We gave ourselves a chance to win the ball game, it's just one of those deals where they, at the end, made the plays they had to make, you have to give them a lot of credit.

Q: (About the end of the game)

Ferentz: I thought we had a chance all the way, even with our last possession, I still thought we had a chance to get down there and kick a field goal. I don't think any of us ever gave up hope (or thought) that we were out of the football game. We were optimistic until the end, or at least hopeful until the end.

Q: Did the weather change anything in the game?

Ferentz: I don't think so. The weather set in a little bit, but I don't think it factored in the ball game.

Q: Ed Hinkel was out warming up before the game.

Ferentz: That was planned. He's not ready to go yet, but we wanted him to at least get into that routine, in case he's ready to go next week, we didn't want that to be a first-time opportunity for him. We thought we'd let him go out there and get warmed up a bit, catch a few balls, we'll see where he is next week.

Q: (Do you feel like your team eased up later in the game?)

Ferentz: I don't think either team eased up the entire game, I really don't.

Q: Can you talk about Basanez?

Ferentz: Everything I said during the week, just ditto it again. The guy's a tremendous competitor, a playmaker, I have tremendous respect for him as a football player. We had great respect for him, and tremendous respect for Northwestern. They could put Michigan State away the way they did, to beat Wisconsin they way they did. We'd be silly not to have great respect for this football team. We had it coming in, we still have it, most obviously, leaving now.

Q: Did they do something different in the second half, your offense wasn't able to get anything going?

Ferentz: I don't think so. They stepped it up a notch, did a great job defensively, we weren't, for whatever reason, to match that tempo. I think both teams just played hard through the final guy.

Q: Do you put the (responsibility) on your seniors the last few weeks to take leadership?

Ferentz: I don't know about the last two weeks. I think the whole season, yeah. This is their football team, they've got ownership, they always have, they welcome that. We're going to need great leadership, certainly. Anytime you lose a football game, you don't want to lose 2 straight, we've lost 2 straight, a bye week in between. We need to bounce back, get back up on our feet, and that's the challenge that's ahead of us right now.

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