Kirk Ferentz Postgame Presser

Kirk Ferentz talks about Senior day, bowl implications, and preparation in this premium transcript.

Kirk Ferentz: Obviously, thrilled to death for our football team. Extremely proud of what they accomplished today. Very happy for them. They've worked extremely hard, we appreciate their efforts as coaches. Compliment the staff too, they did a great job again of getting out guys ready during the week. If you don't have the right kid of players, it doesn't matter. I think our guys showed an awful lot. I think they've shown a lot this past month. We had two very tough losses, heartbreaking losses. You learn a lot about the people you work with when that happens. I think you've seen the response the past two weeks. It goes back to our seniors, we've got great seniors on our football team. Our staff did a great job of leading the way. The rest of the guys jumped right in there. We've had two great weeks. Today's about as good as you could expect or hope for. It feels pretty good. It was a pretty satisfied locker room in there, we're extremely happy.

Q: 600 yards of offense.

Ferentz: Yeah, I said you never would have known watching pregame. When we teed it up, our guys were ready in all areas. The offense executed very proficiently, I thought our defense played tremendous, and our special teams were good. What else is there? It was a really happy day for us.

Q: Now you can kind of sit back and figure out where you guys get to go in a bowl game.

Ferentz: I could care less. The one thing I learned a long time ago, the better you do, you get what you deserve. I was telling our players that. We faced a tough circumstance a couple weeks back, and what more could you ask for from the way our guys responded? The key thing is, we talk to our guys all the time, it's all about improvement, where are you going, where are you headed. I think they've answered that pretty well in this past month. The bowl situation all depends on who wins, who loses, all that stuff. I know we helped our chances today. We're going to be thrilled to go wherever we go. We'll be thrilled to death.

Q: What was your reaction when you saw Solomon throwing that pass?

Ferentz: (Laughs) I was pretty happy. The only problem was, we really hadn't practiced it much going that way, that direction. We usually practice it the other direction. It was a pretty good feeling. Pretty good play.

Q: Was that supposed to be the call?

Ferentz: I didn't know quite what it was. I know where the confusion was. We'd called for the around, we'd been practicing the around-pass, next thing you know. I just heard somebody saying if you run a reverse you should always have a pass off of it. We've been practicing that quite a lot.

Q: Talk a bit about your young defensive line against a very veteran Minnesota offensive line.

Ferentz: They're excellent. We've been watching them all conference season long, the last 7 or 8 weeks. They're an excellent offensive football team, that hasn't changed. I think the other factor is that our guys have gotten better. We were paying our dues earlier in the season, that's what happens when you play young linemen, we knew that coming in. Those guys have really grown each and every week. They've hardened up. There's no way to do it, you just have to go out and get knocked around, and our guys have done that. They paid their dues. The last couple weeks we've seen them start to look pretty good. They've met the challenge today.

Q: What did you think of Ed Hinkel's finale?

Ferentz: What can you say? I think he's a lot like our football team. It wasn't looking too good for him after that Purdue ballgame, our medical staff did a great job getting him ready. I was talking to him on the sideline about that. He said you could only do so much, it takes the right kind of patience, the right kind of attitude. Ed was determined to get back here and play. He gave us a big boost last week and certainly did this week. Again he faced a tough circumstance, stayed tough, and got a heck of a reward today. He earned it, just like our team did. Couldn't be happier. Ed's a tremendous guy.

Q: You guys were passing probably more than you have all year.

Ferentz: They're a very aggressive team defensively. We thought their safeties were pretty aggressive so we wanted to keep them honest a little bit with some throws to help open up our run game as well. It was one of those days where things really clicked. I thought the offensive staff had a great plan, our guys did a great job with it.

Q: Was that your best offensive performance this year?

Ferentz: I'd say so. Things were just in sync, we stayed with it. I thought we kept our focus all the way through, other than that one touchdown pass that went to the other end zone. Does he get credit for that one? Does Drew get credit?

Q: You and Brian seemed pretty emotional in the pregame ceremony. How special was that?

Ferentz: It was tough. I've known it was going to be for about 5 years. I always struggle during the senior introductions anyway. How lucky am I? How lucky am I? It was pretty good, tough to put a price tag on that one.

Q: Couldn't really have asked for a better game for all your seniors. Everybody had action.

Ferentz: For whatever reason, we've played well on senior day each and every year. We had that loss the first year, don't think we've lost since. It's not like we overblow it. We don't hype it up or anything like that, it's not that big of a deal. We address it, but we don't over blow it. I think you can always count on your seniors to be ready. I think what it really demonstrates is our younger guys appreciating and recognizing the role that these players have had and what they've gone through, the price they've paid to become seniors. It's a tough road. I think out of respect, the rest of the team wants to be there and play well, you don't want to let those guys down. We've done pretty well that way.

Q: You had two home runs hit in this game, Greenway's interception and Damian Sims, Mr Touchdown.

Ferentz: I might start believing that stuff that Damian's been talking about. It really was a great run on his part. He finished it, certainly, then Chad's big play. We hit some long passes today, and we've actually been hitting a couple in practice. It's taken us a while. It's funny what shows up on the practice field a lot of times shows up on the game field, it was great.

Q: What stuff has he been talking about?

Ferentz: I just read in the paper after one of those games, he claims someone lead him into it a little bit. He certainly closed that run, he's got a bit of a burst to him.

Q: What have these seniors meant to you?

Ferentz: First number that pops in for me is in 4 years now I think we've had 25 (Big Ten) wins. I don't know how that compares in the conference, but it's up there pretty good. These guys have been really involved in all parts of that. The wins aside, the losses aside, it's more about how they've gone about being football players and student athletes at our school. It's just a great group of young guys. Some guys didn't get to start, some guys were able to fulfill their dreams, maybe other guys weren't. They've all been great representatives of what we think our program's about, what we think our university's about, they're all guys we're extremely proud of. You can't minimize that, that's what this game teaches you anyway.

Q: Any injuries?

Ferentz: I think we're pretty clean.

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