Did this game show how fragile things are for Iowa?
Definitely, you never know what can happen on any given play or any given day. Everybody just has to be ready. The coaches tell you that every week. When something happens, you know because you‘re always hearing about it. Everybody just has to keep it in their mind that it can happen to them.
You guys could probably see this coming with Drew missing practice with a lingering injury. Did that kind of prepare you for today?
No. We treat everything the same. I‘ve been here for five years. The guys, they know me. They trust me. They know that I know what I‘m doing and I‘ll get us in the play that we need to be in. They just stuck with me, they stuck behind me today and did a great job to pull it out..
They were running a lot of nine-man fronts. That had to play with your head a little bit being a first-time starter. Are you thinking that maybe you want to get out of this play? Was it playing with your mind a lot?
A lot of times, I wanted to check plays but I didn‘t have maybe enough time on the game clock or the line couldn‘t hear me. A lot of times I was stuck in plays I didn't want to be in. Sometimes, I feel like I‘m yelling right to my center, and he was telling me he couldn‘t hear me. But we got it done; we got it done.
How many family/friend members did you have here?
Is that in your mind?
At the beginning I was thinking about it a little bit. But as the game went, I didn‘t have time think about it.
When did you find out you were starting?
This morning; the coaches told me this morning.
We talked on Tuesday how close you were to starting. What goes through your mind when you hear that you‘re up?
You‘re ready to go; anxious; excited; nervous at the same time. But it was what I was practicing al my years for here. I just went out there and competed.
What was Drew like today? It must have been tough for him.
It was hard for him to sit down and watch. He‘s such a great competitor that he wants to be out there. But it was probably good that he didn‘t play so he can get back out there as soon as possible.
People asked Coach Ferentz if he ever thought about pulling you. Did you ever feel like you were close to being pulled?
Nah, it never crossed my mind. I mean, I had some bad plays and some turnovers, but the defense did a great job in not making them hurt as bad as they should have. That‘s probably the main reason they kept me in.
Those weren‘t all on you, tough.
Tony had the ball go off of his hands.
Still, I could have hit him right in the chin. I kind of had it out in front a little bit.
The one with Herb, was that a sound problem; a communication problem?
It was definitely a communication problem. I don‘t know if it was sound. We were just on the wrong page on that play.
What does it say about this team to come in here and face all the adversity that you faced and still win?
It just helps us get prepared for other big games down the road when we go into other hostile environments. Hopefully we‘ll be able to respond the way we did today in those places.
Do you get to hang out with your family and friends after this?
Yeah, I‘m getting ready to go out there now.
What‘s that going to be like for you?
It‘s going to be great. I haven‘t see a lot of people for a while. It‘s just going to be great.