Indiana Post Game: Kirk Ferentz Q&A

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz addressed the media following his team's shocking loss at Indiana on Saturday. Ferentz talks about how Iowa was plain out-hustled in this contest, that they deserved what they got and how the team has to move on from this...

Kirk Ferentz Opening Statement

This was a disappointing loss for our team. Basically we got what we deserved. That's what shook out. All of the credit goes to Indiana. They played a very spirited game, they played very well, they played hard and made the plays that they needed to make to be successful. We give them a lot of credit. Basically we didn't play well enough to win. It was that simple. Q: What about the challenge that you made at the end?

Kirk Ferentz: That was the act of a desperate man. There was no sense holding on to it at that stage. We thought that it was a clean catch, at least Drew said that coming off the field. But, you have to take a shot at it and we are oh-fer on challenges right now. Probably a fitting end to the day, really.

Q: What about the field goal right before the half? They had the momentum going.

Ferentz: Yeah and credit goes to them today. Running the ball, throwing the ball where their quarterback really showed a lot of poise, he really ran their offense well. We had a tough time defending a couple of their receivers, certainly and that was a beautiful drive and they nailed it though and that was three points at the end of the half. We have so many things we could have or should have done better and could of and should ofs are for teams that lose. Starting in first half, there were about five things that were critical and I lost track in the second half. Bottom line is they were more prepared to win and it is my job to get the team ready and we did not do that today. We are going to have to live with this and see if we can learn from it now.

Q: Can you talk about your red zone troubles?

Ferentz: Yeah, when you turn the ball over or miss opportunities in the kicking game, you can go right on down through it, it's a team loss. You name it and we did it. I don't say that to diminish anything that Indiana did today. They played very spirited. They played like a ranked team today and we didn't. You can probably go back and pick out five to eight plays in the game that might have made a difference, but ultimately, we didn't get it done and they did.

Q: What was your view of the last play on the interception?

Ferentz: From where I was standing it looked like the ball was a little high. I couldn't tell if it was catchable or not. I will have to see that on tape; maybe he had a better view. The bottom line is that we tipped it and their guy made a great play when it counted. Like I said, it was a real desperate act just to review it and I was not real confident on that one, but we had nothing to lose at that time.

Q: What about the way your team played defensively today? They really hit you hard today.

Ferentz: They really did. We looked exactly the opposite of what our vision of what an Iowa football team should look like. That is my responsibility; I am the head coach and I didn't have the guys ready to play today. We did not do well in any phase really. They executed their offense real well and I am not sure that we slowed them down in any phase.

Q: Did you see this one coming based on how your team prepared in practice?

Ferentz: No I felt pretty good, Mike, I really did. Coming off the field Thursday. I thought that we were focused, but it didn't look like it on the field. It is tough to explain it. It would be easier if I could say that we had a tough week, but I don't think we did.

Q: Talk about Kellen Lewis and the problems you had with him today.

Ferentz: I tried to erase those moments from my mind. I give him a lot of credit; he played with a lot of poise today. He was impressive and that helped them run the ball well.

Q: What makes Hardy such a tough guy to match up against?

Ferentz: I guess you would start with his size first and foremost. But he is not just a big guy; he is a good football player. He has good ball skills and competes for the football. We are 0-2 against him now, against him for two years in a row.

Q: Can you talk about the injuries to your team?

Ferentz: We don't offer any excuses and won't. We have done a great job this year with the next guy stepping in. We came in minus a few guys and we missed a few during the day, but hopefully nothing too significant in terms of the extent of the injury. It takes a take a toll, but all that being said, we had our opportunities and we weren't just good enough to get the job done. That's disappointing for all of us and we are going to have to figure out some answers.

Q: Did you miss some of those starters?

Ferentz: Everyone has guys hurt this time of year. They lost Thigpen. We have to move forward.

Q: If someone said that you were looking ahead to Michigan, what would you say to them?

Ferentz: That would be news to me. I have not heard anybody, other than people on the outside talk about that. You can come with a million explanations, but the bottom line is that we did not look like a hustling and sharp football team today and that is disappointing because the last two weeks we really made significant improvement, but today we too a big step backwards, and that is hard to live with.

Q: Can you talk about the play of Trey Stross today? He had a very good game on offense.

Ferentz: That was a bright spot. He can in and made some good catches with his hands. He did it aggressively and in some tough circumstances also.

Q: What impressed you about them (Indiana) today coming in?

Ferentz: We are familiar with Coach Hoeppner. We played them at Miami. They are hustling teams and well coached and they did that last week against Illinois. They could not have looked any worse than they did two weeks ago. They have to feel good about what they did.

Q: Can you talk about Drew Tate on the last drive?

Ferentz: I had confidence at that point that we could win the game or move it into overtime. The bottom line is that we didn't make the completion and they made a great play.

Q: Can you talk about that first drive of the third quarter for you? It ended up being a 14 point swing.

Ferentz: You can pick out a lot of spots in the game, like that one. We went for pressure on that punt block in the first half and that was huge; it was a bad decision on my part. There are a handful of things that I thought were critical. Anytime you turn the ball over going in like that, you are going to pay for it. It is like walking a guy in the 9th inning; it's not a good thing. Especially with the feel of this ball game today; we knew we were in a game.

Q: Can you still trust Sims in the red zone?

Ferentz: Yeah, we trust Damian. That will not affect him at all.

Q: Do you know if Albert will be ready next week?

Ferentz: I hope so. But, he was not ready this week. I was hoping that he would get over the hump on Tuesday and we will know more then. I am hoping so.

Q: You don't make excuses, but is there a breaking point when so many people keep coming off the field?

Ferentz: It is unusual right now, we have had more than our share, but that is the nature of football. It's October right now. It is like everything in life, other people have problems too. You have to push through those things because you have no options. We did not do a good enough job today.

Q: Where do the dumb penalties fit into things today?

Ferentz: This was a total team loss. The penalties were certainly part of that. It was something we had really focused on and had done a really good job with the last two weeks at home. We left the door open. We have been averaging nine on the road so we talked to the guys about hardening up our focus a little bit here to do a better job, and we didn't get that done.

Q: Where do those mistakes come from? Lack of focus? Lack of concentration?

Ferentz: There are different types of penalties. The ones that are aggressive like pass interference, you can live with those things. Late hits and false starts are due to lack of concentration. Blocks in the back are a lack of good judgment. They end up getting you.

Q: Did you think your team was beyond this type of performance?

Ferentz: No, no. I felt very good about what we had done the last two weeks. I thought that we were making significant strides. But, we are talking about college football right now and everyone is capable of doing things, if you look across the country. It is my responsibility to have my team ready and that was not the case today.

Q: The players said they got out hustled. Is that the most disappointing thing in your eyes today?

Ferentz: No question about it. Especially at this point, knowing coming into the game knowing that this is a hustling unit. They are playing hard. We have played Coach Hoeppner's teams and we know they hustle and they are aggressive. You can never make an excuse for being out hustled because there are no excuses for that.

Q: You hear about upsets around the country and you think that is never going to be you.

Ferentz: You hope it is never going to be you. You have heard me say it before and I have told my team this, in sports, for the most part, you get what you deserve and today we got what we deserved today. We did not get the job done and they did. It's hard to live with any loss. We produced it.

Q: Momentum, they were aggressive, warning sign to you, they were playing like they had nothing to lose, at the end of the first half.

Ferentz: They were aggressive last week. You can see them gaining confidence with their quarterback. Last week's win was a great thing. They are doing it with energy, and today was a continuation of that. We knew coming in that this was not a week off. We were not up to the task.

Q: How do you make sure the 24 hour rule sticks?

Ferentz: There are no magic formulas. We will look at it tomorrow, but the season will move on. We had better be ready, or we will pay for it next Saturday.

Q: Does Dominque Douglas have a knee injury?

Ferentz: I think so. It's a mild sprain. Shonn has a contusion on his knee. Dace has a sprained ankle.


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