Indy Week: Jake Christensen Q&A

Iowa quarterback Jake Christensen knows that defenses will continue to stack the box and take away Iowa's running game, and force the young receiver corps to beat them. But Jake is up for the challenge, and knows what is coming. Read all of Jake's comments heading into the Indiana game in this Q&A

Q: The quarterback is a focal point for criticism. How do you deal with that?

Jake Christensen: You just have to welcome it. Ever since you decided to play quarterback when you're little you know that all the blame goes on your shoulders. I don't shy away from it. It's my job to get the offense going, first half, second half, whatever the case may be. I take that role and I accept it fully.

Q: Do you try to avoid reading or watching certain things?

Christensen: I don't go out of my way to buy all of the newspapers. If you see it, you read it. If not, it's no big deal. People are entitled to their opinion. I'll read it and probably not think twice about it.

Q: What do you think of the Indiana defense after seeing them on film?

Christensen: They are a good team and have played well this season. They stumbled last week, but we will get their best shot this weekend. They have played us tough the last few times we have played them.

Q: How has Derrell Johnson-Koulianos grown from the first time you saw him to now?

Christensen: He has matured like all the younger guys. His has been more of a higher slope. He was just thrown into the mix the past two weeks. He has really stepped in nicely and done a good job and he is being more of a leader. He is doing a good job. That is what you expect from your second year players and I think we will see that the rest of the year.

Q: What think about that catch?

Christensen: It was unreal. I was a one handed catch. He fought it well, and stuck his hand out there and caught it. Those are the types of plays we need if we will beat good teams.

Q: And the throw was on the money, too.

Christensen: I just gave him a chance to make the play.

Q: What do you think about Paul Chaney?

Christensen: He is a fast guy, he will have a bigger role this week than he has all year. He did a good job stepping in, the next man in. We will count on him and I am confident in him.

Q: How have the young wide receivers responded to being thrown in there?

Christensen: They have done a good job. I think Trey will be back this week, but I don't know where that is at. Everyone has been expecting to play, going into this year we knew that we had a deep receiving corps. We have lost the most guys there. It's a good thing that we had depth, but we are counting on them more now than when the year began.

Q: Who is in there at tight end after Brandon and Tyler?

Christensen: Uhhhh. I don't know. I am not sure who is after Tyler. I am sure the coaches will figure something out. As far as that goes, we have to deal with it and try to do the best we can.

Q: Are you comfortable with A.J. Edds?

Christensen: Edds? Yeah. He has good hands. He wasn't going to redshirt his freshman year. He caught Donovan's pass.

Q: You have known Tony forever, how much will you miss him

Christensen: It's tough. He is a great player. He works hard, you never want to see anyone go down, let alone your leading receiver and better players on offense. He will work hard and get back. We are there for him personally right now.

Q: Is it a must win this week? Do players look at things like that?

Christensen: I don't think you ever label a game a must win. Every game in the Big Ten is a must win, because you always want to win. I don't think any player is going into the game thinking that they don't want to win, so every game is a must win here on out and we will do what we can to make it come true.

Q: 0-2 starts in Big Ten don't lead to winning seasons too often.

Christensen: In 2004, we were 2-2 and won the Big Ten. We are not down about the loss. We left it all on the field and hopefully if we do that we should be OK.

Q: Kirk said that you have grown a lot in the last two weeks. How so?

Christensen: I felt more comfortable on the road. It didn't affect us at all emotionally. We were there, and trying to play a football game. There are a lot of young guys on offense growing together. We have a feel for playing the college game now, now we just have to execute and put more points on the board.

Q: Do you like running the ball?

Christensen: I don't mind. A quarterback has to use everything he can to try and lead a team. If I have to run the ball 30 times a game, I will do whatever it takes and whatever coach calls for us to win, I will do it.

Q: Tim Teabow?

Christensen: He is about 240-pounds though.

Q: What did you take away from the game on Saturday?

Christensen: We played hard, we were toe to toe with the 9th team in the nation. We gave ourselves a chance to win and we came up a little short. Overall, we are happy with the effort, but want to win.

Q: What clicked on the drive before the half?

Christensen: We just spread them out. James' catch was a big play, it got the momentum going in our favor. I think we just got aggressive and took the bull by the horns.

Q: Do you have confidence in the young receivers?

Christensen: I have always been confident in them. They make plays in practice, all through camp. They have a chance to show it on the field and they did a good job. My confidence has never wavered in them and I have confidence in them the rest of the year.

Q: Are you surprised with DJK's playmaking ability?

Christensen: No. He is a talented player. A catch like that is not something you expect, but I expect when the ball is in his area, he will make a big play. That is what he does.

Q: Are you getting more comfortable with defenses loading the box against you?

Christensen: I don't think we have a choice now. We will see that for a while until we show we can beat it. I am sure we will work on pressure hard this week. It will affect us a bit, but at the same time, it would affect any offense with that much pressure. Our defense kept giving us chances and if they play like that, we will be OK.

Q: What do you have to do to different with the young receivers?

Christensen: Just give them the confidence they need. They will make mistakes, that is expected. They can't get down on themselves, that is a part of the learning curve and will happen when you are trying to become a good football player. But they will make good plays, too. You have to keep a level head. Mistakes are a part of it, as is success.

Q: You are a veteran now.

Christensen: We have three senior running backs, so I don't know that I am a veteran yet.

Q: What does a running game mean for the offense right now?

Christensen: It's important. You need the running game to win in this league. We did it without the running game in 2004, and there were a lot of close games that year. It's close. Just one or two mistakes here or there can stop a play, so we can have success running it if we just tighten things up.

Hawkeye Insider Top Stories