UW Postgame - Kirk Ferentz

Kirk Ferentz talked about the great progress his team made this game, becoming bowl eligible and the end of a great friend's career following Iowa's 20-10 victory in Madison on Saturday. Read what the captain had to say in this premium transcript.

Kirk Ferentz: Obviously, just thrilled for our football team, couldn't be more proud of the effort they put forth today. They played a tremendous football game, just really really happy for our team and proud of our coaches. I thought they did a great job during the week of getting our guys ready, and our players took care of the game today, they really played well. The other thing is, I'd just like to complement Wisconsin. I thought they played extremely well, they've had a tremendous season. I can't say enough about the job that Barry's done here in the last 16 years. All you've got to do is read the record. You consider where this program was when he got here, and where he's taken it in 16 years during his tenure. I have nothing but the utmost respect for Barry as a coach and our conference will miss him, his leadership, his perspective, and the great coaching he's done. I certainly want to wish my best to him, the best of good fortune to he and his team for the next two ball games.

Q: What changed, everyone seemed to step up a notch in the 2nd half, where'd that come from?

Ferentz: I can't answer that. It's ironic, the last two games I think we've played, prepared better, played harder and better then we have any time this season. We've got two losses to show for it. The only thing we did during the week (was) encourage our guys, we know it would be a tough 4environment, first and foremost. Encouraged them to be ready for that. We encouraged them to be ready to play their best for 60 minutes. I think the bottom line is, we didn't get discouraged. It wasn't a perfect first half, certainly, but our guys stuck to the plan and just went out and I think we grew up a bit in that second half. It all comes from the players. They showed great will and great determination. It just was great to see it.

Q: (A question on the differences in the halves)

Ferentz: Our field position was a bit better in the second half, we got that turned around a little bit and what have you, but we wanted to play aggressively. That was our goal coming in. We were down 7 points, which really is pretty minimal at halftime, but we just felt like we had to stay on the attack during the second half and try and establish some momentum. I think the biggest thing, we had some young players really grow up today. You get a guy like Ed Hinkel back, a veteran guy, but we had some young guys step in and do some good things on both sides of the ball, special teams. It was a total team win for us.

Q: The pressure you got on the quarterback in the second half, it seemed like your defensive line grew up a lot.

Ferentz: That's one of the things I'm referring to, I think. Our guys have been playing hard, we've been seeing them getting better reach week on tape, but we haven't gotten that kind of pass-rush this year. I think it's just a matter of our guys have stayed the course, they've kept digging, kept working, and today it paid off for us.

Q: What a defensive job you did on Calhoun.

Ferentz: Yeah, and quite frankly, you watch him on tape, you have great respect for him. Seeing so many people have a hard time containing him, tackling him. After the first quarter, I wasn't sure we were going to be able to do it either, he's a heck of a football player, he's very tough to get the angle on. It looked like we might be in for a long day with him. As the game went on I think our guys did a great job of playing team defense, proper leverage, and allowed us to get everybody involved, not just isolating one guy on him.

Q: Coming out, did you think that because of the weather, you had to have a big third quarter?

Ferentz: I'll tell you, I don't think the weather ever really factored into our thoughts. Maybe I'm naive, I don't know, I just think wind is a great factor in football, but rain in this day and age ion a surface like this, I don't think it's a huge factor. Both teams I'm sure had plenty of dry balls. Unless it just starts down pouring, which maybe it did a little bit today, it didn't seem that bad. I don't think it was a big factor.

Q: What did you say to Barry after the game?

Ferentz: All I could say to Barry was to compliment him on what a great job he's done in 16 years time and what tremendous respect I had for him as a football coach, the way he's done things, what he's meant to this conference. Obviously, I feel fortunate to consider him a friend, I've always enjoyed having the chance to visit with him since our departure back in the late 80s. It's always tough to compete against people you've worked with. The big picture is, I have just such tremendous respect for what they've done here.

Q: So what was it like to spoil the party?

Ferentz: On one hand, I've got great feelings for Barry and the program here, but the most important thing on our docket was making our football team feel better. I hate to be a little selfish there, but the group I care about the most is our football players.

Q: You guys got bowl eligible today.

Ferentz: That happened today, didn't it? Yeah. (Laughs) I guess I'd thought about that time or two this past week. It's just tremendous. It's tremendous. Every game hasn't gone the way we want, I pretty much put September way out of my mind, but the last two games out have been very disappointing to our football team. Every now and again, you allow yourself to think about the what-ifs, but it was very important to all of us, I'm sure, to keep our bowl string alive, if you will. More important than that, we just wanted to make a good showing of ourselves and finish a football game. The next thing we have to do is finish the season. Now it looks like its 2 games instead of 1 more, so we're happy about that. We just want to put our best foot forward.

Q: What do you think of Stocco's performance today? Do you think he's improved since last year?

Ferentz: I'm not going to base it on today's performance, but there's no question. He's an experienced player now, he's gotten better through his experience. He's had a tremendous season, just like their entire football team's had a tremendous season. He's been a big part of that, they've scored close to 40 points a game, you don't do that without your quarterback playing well. He's done a great job.

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