Q: (A question on Herb Grigsby)
Kirk Ferentz: We held him out today. He missed a meeting early in the week. I just thought it was appropriate action. He'll be back in film tomorrow.
Q: Is that a big distraction at this time of year when you have something like that?
Ferentz: It wasn't to me, no. I made a decision, went with it. It wasn't a big distraction.
Q: One of the theories that we've been hearing about this team is not enough playmakers on offense. What do you say to that?
Ferentz: We're not making enough plays, I would say, in all 3 areas. That ties right into consistency. Part of being consistent is making some plays. Somebody's got to rise up and make a play at times. I think it's fair to say that over the course of the season we've made some, but not enough.
Q: You go through a game like this, you don't want to blame specific people, necessarily, but do you think that the seniors could have made plays to change the outcome?
Ferentz: As you know, I'm not real big on pointing individuals out. Obviously there were some specific plays out there. It's just sometimes that's the way it goes. Your opponents are trying to make plays too, they've got some guys that made some plays today. We'll look at the tape, try and coach it, coach off of it, and move forward.
Q: I don't even know what this word means, we only use it in times like this, microcosm, the two dropped passes.
Ferentz: Which two, I've got to ask? Is that all there was today?
Q: The two on the last drives…
Ferentz: Those kinds of things are the differences between if you sustain a drive and have a chance to go down there and tie it, have a chance to win, or go home disappointed. Regardless of who is involved, when you're making those plays, you give yourself a chance. During the course of the game, we did some of that. The big thing I would ay is consistency. To me, that was really the story of the two teams right now. Overall, Wisconsin, I think you would agree, I wouldn't say they're light years ahead of us as a team, but I've seen a lot of film on them. The thing I've seen on them is that they've improved and played fairly consistently all season long. They've given themselves a great chance to come out victorious, then they've gotten the job done. We just haven't done that well enough. Typically, when you look at a team that's 6-5, that's usually what you see. Again, going back to statistics, when you talk about turnovers, I think on Tuesday That's always a good indicator, that's a good one, usually. You go back to where we're at in 2002 vs. right now on turnovers. I'm not big on a lot of stats, but that's one that gives you a little feel. We're not charting drops or things like that, or it might be tied in too.
Q: The defensive line, at this point. It was pretty much a tailor-made day for a first time starter at QB, he had a lot of time back there. Maybe choosing to let guys get open.
Ferentz: He did. He did a nice job. He played with a lot of poise. He did a good job. They executed well. They really executed well.
Q: Is there anything you can do to get more pressure on a QB, or is it just something these guys have to learn on their own?
Ferentz: We're working at it. Again, that's a team thing also. It's kind of like if you want to release 5 on offense, then you've got to be able to do some other things. To bring extra pressure, you're going to give something up defensively. I think the big thing, our tendency is we try to focus on individuals and execution. To me, that's really the story of the day. I was more concerned about contain and not tackling.
Q: To me, how does a coach make a guy into a playmaker. At some point, the coaching stops, right?
Ferentz: Sometimes it's experience. Everybody's capable of doing certain things. Really, our job is to get everybody to do what they can do well and do it as consistently as possible. We haven't gotten that done well enough yet.
Q: You guys have played a lot of big games against Minnesota. In terms of stopping the bleeding, is next week maybe the biggest game you've had against Minnesota?
Ferentz: I don't know. It's tough to rank those two. It's always a spirited contest, certainly. As I understand it, they're playing for a bowl. That's going to give them more than enough incentive, not to mention everything else associated with the series. My biggest concern right now is just us coming back into our locker room feeling good about things again. We haven't been able, really, to achieve that the way you'd like to. That's first and foremost regardless of who we're playing. Certainly it'd be a good game.
Q: Did you say anything to the seniors in particular?
Ferentz: Not really after the game. What you'd like to do after the game is let them lead the fight song, but we don't' do that when we don't win. We're not overboard on it, but we certainly acknowledge the seniors.
Q: Last year had that cool send-off for Ed.
Ferentz: Yeah, in a perfect world that's what you'd like to have that happen.
Q: In 03 and 04, you seemed to get all the bounces, make all the close plays, kind of like what Wisconsin is doing. Do you think they kind of average out?
Ferentz: I'm not big on that stuff. Over the long haul, you've heard me say it before, you get what you deserve. It's not 100%, but teams that are playing well, it does look like the breaks go their way. Loose balls do their way a little bit. I think, you know, the energy a team plays with, the consistency they play with has a lot to do with that. We just haven't gotten to that point. We just haven't gotten to that point. I'm not into voodoo dolls or anything like that. Injuries obviously some years are greater than others, but overall, you just have to make the best of your situation and try and push through.
Q: Did Drew keep it together pretty well in the second half?
Ferentz: I think so. I thought he was fine. Those two series in the third quarter we were 3 and out, 3 and out. That opened the door for them. They did a great job. The whole third quarter. I haven't seen possession times in that quarter, but I'm sure it was about 11-4, something like that. The 97-yard drive, first of all you lose field position, that was the first concern. Then the second concern was giving up points, then the third concern is TD not a FG. It went from bad to worse to really bad. That's not good. It's like last week, we still had time in the fourth quarter to come back and play. Those things swing momentum, but good teams find a way. Like last week, in the 4th quarter, as bad as we were playing, we still had our chances to do some things if we had shown some life in any area.
Q: Is it a bit reminiscent of 2001?
Ferentz: There are a lot of parallels, no doubt. When you're finding a way to get it done, that's what Wisconsin's done all year, they've found a way. Different circumstances, they've found a way all but 1 time to find a way to win. They've improved each week, too. Maybe not week-to-week, but as the course of the season's gone, they've gotten better. Good teams do that.
Q: Does that remind you of their 2004 team?
Ferentz: They remind me of their team last year. I thought their team last year just kept getting better and better and better. It's not the same because Calhoun and Hill are totally different.