Kirk Ferentz Addresses Iowa's Loss to ISU

After Iowa's 15-13 loss to Iowa State on Saturday, Kirk Ferentz spoke to the gathered media and took on all questions. He was asked about Iowa's personnel grouping on ISU's last completion, about the growth of his team, and much more...

Kirk Ferentz: I want to congratulate Iowa State. Their effort was outstanding. They deserved the win today. They outplayed us. I think bottom line is we were fortunate to be down 12-0 at halftime. They clearly jumped on us right off the bat and gave us a lot of problems. We were very, very fortunate. If there is good news today, we bounced back and played a good second half. But we showed some areas that we need to work on and address in the first half. I thought our guys competed to the end, it was a good game that way. Culbertson is representative of their team. He came into this game 0-3, and today played a great game and bounced back. That is indicative of the way they played. They made a lot of improvement in three weeks time and they were the better team on the field today.

Q: Did you sense anything being off during the week?

Kirk Ferentz: I didn't get that sense during the week. I felt like we had a good week of preparation. We have good maturity on the team, good leadership. The big difference is that they have improved an awful lot in three weeks, and we didn't the past seven days. I thought our attitude was good and we were ready to go. We just didn't execute in the first half.

Q: Can you talk about that last completion for Iowa State, Myer to Bates?

Ferentz: We made the decision to go after them. When you do that, they are five wides, someone has to match up on their receivers and the bottom line is that you get there and your force them to throw before they want to, and if you don't, that is what results. That is a tough position for any linebacker to be in. If we can't make them throw the ball before they are ready to, that is the risk you take. Credit goes to Bates, and Meyer played a great game. That is not a huge surprise, he has done that for four years. We have seen he and Blythe plenty and they can play well.

Q: Did you think about switching personell and putting a defensive back in there?

Ferentz: You can. You can do a lot of things. But when you change personnel, it gives you a tip on what you are doing. That is another route you can go if you want.

Q: Did you think you had a shot on that last play of the game?

Ferentz: You never know. Derrell made a great effort, everyone was trying to help out. I guess we had a holding penalty there, not a surprise. I thought our guys competed hard the entire second half. It is disappointing now, we all feel bad and will for a while. But we have been here before. How we handle this will be a hell of a lot more important than what happened today.

Q: Were you trying to get out of bounds on the last play of the first half?

Ferentz: Well, yeah….no. I will backtrack. Clearly, he was trying to get in the endzone. But when you play a first year player, he is a redshirt freshmen, those kinds of things will happen. Our youth showed in certain areas today. Our play is representative of that, too. We were hoping to get the ball out of bounds and take a shot at it.

Q: Talk about that blocked field goal.

Ferentz: It didn't look like the ball got up. Another positive, Austin hasn't been in a groove, but he came back and had a heck of an effort on that last one. It gave us a chance to win the game. That is a positive.

Q: Was Albert OK in the second half?

Ferentz: He got dinged a little bit, but they were playing physical and attacking the ball well. He came back, we don't anticipate any problems

Q: (inaudible question)

Ferentz: I don't think we dealt with it well. Give them credit. They did some things, not that we didn't expect to see things different, they did a nice job of mixing things defensively, giving us some trepidation, and kept us from converting on third downs.

Q: What did you think of Jake's play today?

Ferentz: I thought he struggled, obviously. HE looked like a young quarterback in a hostile environment for the first time. We have been in this position before. A lot of the things that took place in the first half, I can't tell you I am shocked by. You might anticipate those things happening, you hope they don't. A lot were predictable, now the experience for us is to move through it. It looked like the Miami game of 2002. We survived that one. This was like that.

Q: Did you make any major adjustments half to half?

Ferentz: Nothing major. I think field position helped us. The first half, it seemed like we were starting on the 20 and they were on the 35-plus. That helped to start with. As the game went on, we played better. When you have some inexperienced players…I am not throwing alibis here now, but when you have that, it takes a while and you work through situations. That did happen a little bit. It's easier when you have better field position. The first half, did they punt once? It was one of those deals. Our defense was on the field way too long.

Q: Talk about the impact of the blocked field goal.

Ferentz: We talked earlier. Impact, it's big now. A lot of plays are big now in hindsight. Those things are going to happen. We battled back and gave ourselves a chance to win. We kept fighting until the end. But as you tally things up, you don't make enough plays, or allow them to make plays. That is what tips the balance.

Q: Were you surprised by their defense?

Ferentz: Not overly. We have a young line and a young quarterback. We can expect that week in and week out. They blitzed on film prior to this. They gave us a wrinkle or two, but not unexpected.

Q: Mitch King played a great game

Ferentz: He played hard. I thought our whole defense played hard. They don't have much gas in the tank now. They kept them out of the end zone. Give their kicker a lot of credit, he showed up today.

Q: You are 2-1, coming off a tough loss heading into Big Ten play.

Ferentz: We have been here before. Unfortunately. I supposed we have been 3-0 before at some given point. I told the team all week, what has happened the last two weeks doesn't matter. All that mattered what we did today. We came up short. Give them all the credit there. We go back to work tomorrow and try to grow and improve and I think we did that during the last 30 minutes. Now we will have to make a helluva lot of improvement this week to have a chance next week.

Q: How do you get them to do it?

Ferentz: It's OK to feel bad. Losing shouldn't feel good. We will deal with that tomorrow. The films will show a lot of things we can do better. It will be a teaching day, then back to work. We have guys that are mentally tough.

Q: Are you amazed that your team is going to open the Big Ten season having not allowed a touchdown?

Ferentz: I hadn't thought of that. Hopefully we can continue that. I like that one.

Q: Surprised by five wides?

Ferentz: No. No. That is football.

Q: Did you adjust well?

Ferentz: I felt we were playing pretty good defense overall. I would like to have that last one back, but we played good defense today. That wasn't the key factor.

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