Ferentz Pleased with Effort; Tough Loss

After the 17-13 loss to Wisconsin, Kirk Ferentz took the podium to answer questions. While saying several times that Iowa didn't come to Madison to lose, he did talk about the things that pleased him with his football team, namely their effort throughout the game...

Kirk Ferentz Opening Statement

I will start with congratulating Wisconsin. They deserved the win. I thought it was an outstanding football game, two teams playing hard and aggressive. I feel very badly for our guys. It's part of the game, we didn't come here to play close. I thought our guys played with phenomenal effort and we grew as a team and I am extremely proud with how our guys played and disappointed we didn't get out of here with a win. Q: Can you give us an update on the injury front?

Kirk Ferentz: It's not good. Tony, I think has a significant injury. He dislocated his elbow and probably broke a bone in his hand. Brodell has a pretty significant hamstring. Vandervelde is not quite as serious, but we will know more tomorrow. We are going to be sore. It was a tough, physical game.

Q: You had all freshmen receivers in there after Andy went down…

Ferentz: We don't have experienced playmakers. Situations like that, opportunities arise. We have had that next man in philosophy. I saw some guys step up and not act like freshmen out there. Derrell made some great plays, and they didn't look intimidated. He didn't tie his shoes on Friday in practice and competed hard. I thought James stepped up and did a good job and Sandeman has been doing a good job. We have to keep improving.

Q: Did you see what they had done against spread formations on defense?

Ferentz: I know there has been talk up here about their defense. I think they answered that question tonight. You get into conference play, and out of non-league play, things look differently. They stepped up their effort. They played really well on defense tonight. It's part of the package we have been fooling around with . We are not like UNLV, that is not our deal.

Q: Can you comment on some of your positive drives tonight?

Ferentz: I felt that our guys showed great resilience. We have run out of experienced playmakers at several positions, but no one hung their heads. I thought Jake continued to grow today. Last week was a growing experience for him, he kept his poise all the way through and competed hard and I thought he played a smart, heady game out there. I really like the way he is built, the way he thinks and operates. I thought he did some good things. We have to give him more help, but it will come. That was one of the positives. Then young guys stepping in, the receivers. For Dan Murray to jump in there, he looked like he belonged. Those are very positive things. Again, we didn't come here to play close, so it's tough. But if your attitude is right you have a shot and I think our guys answered any questions about attitude tonight.

Q: How much might the game have changed if you were able to score on the first possession of second half after getting the fumble?

Ferentz: I don't know. To me, the game the way it was going would have stayed the same. Certainly we came out ahead on the turnover ratio, and we are trying to do that this year. But to come out ahead like we did and not get the points, you will pay for that and we did today. We are not an offensive juggernaut right now. We get field position, we need to get points.

Q: Are you satisfied with your punter?

Ferentz: Yeah. I think he continues to grow. He didn't get the hang time at time and he had one that wasn't pretty, but overall he is coming along and he has a very good future. He is wired in. He is capable. Hopefully that will continue.

Q: Can you draw comparisons to 2004, getting beat at Arizona State and coming back to play a top 10 Michigan team on the road, and coming out of there with a great effort like tonight?

Ferentz: A little bit, although I would not qualify last week's effort in that Arizona State category, but I know what you are saying. We didn't do anything down there, that was as bad as we have ever been. There is as parallel there. I hope the ending turns out half as good, we have a lot of work to do. The bottom line is that we looked like a football team tonight. Our goal was not to play it close, we wanted to win the game. We grew as a team tonight, and we saw great leadership and attitude and that gives you a chance.

Q: How eager are you to get back on the field and play well after last week?

Ferentz: I think we were all feeling the effects on Monday. But you get back to work on Tuesday, you cannot let the last one affect the next one. In sports, fans and media have a chance to dwell, but players and coaches can't. It was good to get back to work, and I think our guys showed that their attitude has not been affected.

Q: Talk about the confusion on that first half touchdown fumble by the Badgers.

Ferentz: The communication was rough across the board. It was a hectic situation there. There was an inadvertent whistle, but we didn't get the check communicated and didn't challenge it the way we needed to.

Q: Do you need more from your running game?

Ferentz: It all goes together. Football is a team thing. Given our situation, I think they will make it tough for us to run the football. The running yards were tough on both sides tonight. Our deal is to be balanced, always has been and probably always will be. We will have to figure out how to get that going.

Q: Talk about the blocked field goal.

Ferentz: It's two in a row and it's disappointing. Nothing is automatic in football, but that doesn't require great talent or experience. I am not taking anything away from Wisconsin. It's just one of those things where we have to be better at that. It's just not us getting it done.


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