Q: (A question on the booing from Iowa fans)
Kirk Ferentz: It's disappointing. The only thing I can say is that I hope it's not directed at an individual players. You can boo the coaches, we deserved to be booed.
Q: This was a group effort.
Ferentz: Yeah. Again, Northwestern did a great job. They played the way you're supposed to play, and we didn't match them. When you do that you open yourself up for criticism, it's like I said up there at the end, I can live with that. We deserve it. I'd be critical, too, if I was sitting in the stands.
Q: Is it a looking-ahead thing again?
Ferentz: I don't think so. Gosh, I hope not. We've really got problems if that's the case. To me, the reality is that we're 6-4, that might be generous. Maybe we're over-achieving, that's the other side of the coin. Today it looked like we were. We didn't look like a crisp, good football team. That's disappointing.
Q: Is this maybe your most frustrating team?
Ferentz: I'm not ready to judge any team until the year's over, I'm really not. I think we'll get through that last ball game and then we'll make the evaluations. We've had some frustrating moments, I won't contest that.
Q: (A question on leadership in 2002)
Ferentz: We had a real big, active, strong senior class that year, that factors into things. That year, we really had to grind some coffee there late September, Mid-September, October. It seemed like once we got through that Purdue game, the Indiana game too, that was a tough one. When we hit November, that team was pretty much on their own. The training wheels were off and they were going. We just haven't been gotten into a groove at all. We haven't developed the kind of consistency you hope you get at some point. We've got two weeks to try and find it now.
Q: It seemed like your teams the last 3 or 4 years have really had a chip on their shoulder…
Ferentz: I hope we would have found one on there after the Indiana game, I was hoping. We came back with, I thought, a real good effort at Michigan. I thought we played well last week. We played hard, played well. Clearly, you guys are watching the same thing I'm watching, we haven't been there week in and week out the way we need to be. There are other people in the league trying to win too, we've been at the bottom looking up at everybody. It's not fun down there, you want to work your way up there, and right now we're down there with those guys. We're 2-4 in the conference. They have to put us somewhere.
Q: Did you expect that from them, Northwestern?
Ferentz: I think there re two components to it. To us, they got their offensive equation settled when they put that QB in. We thought that was, in retrospect, it panned out, that was a key ingredient. Then the way they rebounded last week after what had to be a real tough loss. Obviously to be involved in that thing had to be gut-wrenching. Pat, just like he played, I'm sure, I never saw him play. Maybe I did on TV… He's not lying on the ground. He's pushing that team, they're getting better. They came in here hungry, they came in here confident, they had a very good plan and executed it to perfection. As a football team, you have to assume your opponent's going to do that every week, you have to operate under that assumption. If it doesn't happen, that's great, but you've got to take the field every week thinking that's going to happen. The onus is on us to do our best.
Q: You mentioned 2000, the shoe was on the other foot a bit…
Ferentz: Yeah, except they were better than we were. No question. We execute every play in that game, basically, at least until the end there. They did the executing, they executed extremely well, all phases.
Q: You haven't scored on your opening drives. Does that maybe say something about this team?
Ferentz: It probably does. I wish I could give you an answer there, too. That hasn't happened. I wasn't aware of that, but it hasn't happened often. It's not good.
Q: How much does this keep you up at night, games like this or the Indiana game?
Ferentz: You know. It's a lot more fun when we're playing well. It's always more fun when you're playing well, doing things. Ultimately, it's my responsibility. As I said earlier, you're constantly evaluating, what are we doing, what am I saying, all those things. That always is in flux, it's always in an evaluation mod. The thing that is static is what expectations are and what our standards are. Those aren't tied to winning or losing. That's for the outsiders to worry about. I've always operate don't he premise that if you do things right, eventually, you're going to win your fair share.
Q: Were the expectations too high in August?
Ferentz: It depends, I don't know what they were. We're certainly not a ranked team right now. We're going to have to work our tails off to end up ranked this year, that's pretty clear. One thing that's clear, we're not playing in January this year, we've established that. We've established we're not the Big Ten champs. I think it's easy for everybody to live with the fact that we went out and played well at Michigan. You can live with those things, that'll happen. You run into a team built like they are or built like Ohio State is this year. It's a different circumstance. Not to discredit them, but they out played us, that's hard to live with.