Post ISU: Jake Christensen Q&A

Jake Christensen received the 'call from the bullpen' on Saturday, and his insertion into the game in the fourth quarter may have provided a spark for an Iowa offense that sputtered in the third quarter. He talks about the day, his range of emotions and much more in this lengthy Q&A

Q: What was it like to get the call to go in?

Jake Christensen: It was great. It is a team game. You win the game as a team. I don't think there has been a better feeling since I have been here. You are almost emotionless because you don't know how to react, but we have a lot of games left.

Q: How did you feel with the crowd cheering you went you went in.

Christensen: It's about time. (laughs). It feels good. I think the last time they cheered me was against Northern Illinois my redshirt freshman year. It felt good.

Q: Did you expect to get that call?

Christensen: You are always ready. I kept my head in the game. You don't think about going in series to series. I was ready.

Q: You are a baseball guy; is this a relief pitcher sort of thing?

Christensen: I hope not. But I don't know. Whatever coach decides.

Q: Do you feel like you are ‘the guy'?

Christensen: I felt like I was the guy since day one.

Q: Another week of competition now?

Christensen: No idea. I have no idea

Q: How many practice reps did you get this past week?

Christensen: Same as they have been. We both took equal reps.

Q: What were your emotions in the huddle coming in?

Christensen: Everyone was excited. Everything we did worked on that drive. There was intensity because we had a chance to move the ball. It was a good start to the drive, and guys get more emotion

Q: Does it feel good to beat Iowa State?

Christensen: It feels real good, they are a good team and they are physical. It feels great. Last time we had it was two years ago here, and we have split with them since I have been out there.

Q: Were the wet conditions a big factor?

Christensen: Down in the south endzone, it was soggy. But the refs did a good job with the balls, keeping them dry.

Q: Were you the first guy to the trophy?

Christensen: I tried, but I couldn't find it. I was asking the (ISU) players where it was, they looked at me like I was crazy. ‘Where's the trophy?' Get out of here.

Q: How important was it to complete that first pass?

Christensen: It was important. I thought it was a run play, I couldn't hear coach O'Keefe, but he told me it was a pass. It was good to get those first play jitters out there.

Q: What did you see that made you check down on that 20 yard run by Shonn?

Christensen: It was 20 yards? I just checked away, it was our basic check, things we go over. The line blocked it up, and when they block well Shonn can do a lot of good things.

Q: Do you have that aspect of things down better where maybe Rick doesn't?

Christensen: We are both pretty good at it.

Q: I guess Andy is back from his injury now.

Christensen: That was the gustiest play I ever saw. To tear your hamstring from the bone about a year ago from this Saturday. I couldn't be more happy for him.

Q: You were the first guy sprinting onto the field to congratulate him.

Christensen: We are good friends and I know he was down in the dumps last year. People have been bugging him about his speed, but he got it back today.

Q: What was Rick's reaction when you went in and you came back to the sidelines?

Christensen: It was good. We both talk to each other all of the time; you can't afford to get down on yourself.

Q: It's been a long time since you stood on the sidelines for that long without playing.

Christensen: My feet hurt a lot. I haven't worn studs, and we were standing. I took my shoes off at halftime. It's different, but you have to stay in the game.

Q: What was your reaction when you got the call to go in?

Christensen: I was excited and I was happy to get a chance to try and lead the team.

Q: Bruggeman came over and said something before you went in…

Christensen: He said it's your time, lead us, and we will follow you.

Q: Do you take away some satisfaction?

Christensen: I would say a little bit. But at the same time, it's not over yet. But yeah, a little bit of redemption. It's hard to…you want to get as excited as you can about one game, but we have bigger goals than this.

Q: How hard is it to stand on the sidelines for three quarters and then go in in a game like this?

Christensen: You have to tell yourself to relax. I have played in 14 games here. It's a walk in the park.

Q: Have the fans been unfair to you this past year?

Christensen: That is a loaded question.

Q: You said they loved you against NIU your freshman year…

Christensen: Fair? I don't know how you describe that, what is fair to you? I don't know either.

Q: Was it more booing from the student section than anything else last week?

Christensen: I don't know. We won today, and that is all that matters to me right now.

Q: Talk about how you felt for Andy.

Christensen: I was elated. He broke probably three tackles and that is the thing that is his M.O. We count on him and to see him get into the end zone in such a big game. He grew up, and I doubt he will tell you this, but his dad was an Iowa State season ticket holder his whole life. I think he was an ISU fan as a kid. He says he is not. But if your dad had season tickets, you are a fan of Iowa State. He loves this game each year. He won't tell you any of that.

Q: Did Coach O'Keefe come and tell you you were going in?

Christensen: Coach Ferentz told me to be ready to go. It was a short conversation.

Q: Who were you warming up with?

Christensen: Ed Hinkel. He said ‘Ill catch you'. I said put your uniform on.

Q: Coach said this was your best week of prep since you stepped on campus here. Did you feel that way?

Christensen: I felt I had a good week. I was pretty focused, determined to get back on the field.

Q: Did the coaches get your attention, perhaps?

Christensen: Yeah, I think so. I think it opens your eyes a little bit, wakes you up, makes you grow up fast

Q: Were you more relaxed this week?

Christensen: It was just another week for me. I have always treated every week as the starter since I have been here, there is no change.

Q: Were you guys waiting around for a big play to happen?

Christensen: We had a couple big plays but we missed a few things. They made some good plays, too. Credit goes to them too. You are always waiting for the big play when you are on the edge.

Q: Based on how this game ended, and the circumstances surrounding a big game, and your role, how satisfying was it? It was sort of a Hollywood script.

Christensen: Hollywood script, for sure, here in Iowa City.

Q: What has Shonn given you through three weeks?

Christensen: He is a special player. He is so physical, he runs downhill all of the time. He is never going to take a negative yardage play. He could carry it three downs in a row, and you know you will get a first down the way he runs. He has been a huge boost for us.

Q: He is starting to talk to the defense…

Christensen: Shonn, he is special. He is a leader, since he got back. He was a leader before. It's great to see him do well and back on top

Q: Were you getting calls and emails this week from people you hadn't heard of?

Christensen: I had a lot of emails from people I didn't know, to keep playing hard and to keep my head up, that I will get my chance.

Q: When did coach say you were going in?

Christensen: Right after Rick's second pick. He said to loosen up, you are going in

Q: When you went in, Bruggeman came over and gave words of encouragement.

Christensen: He said it's your time, you have been ready for this, you have done it before, we will follow you just lead us.

Q: How did it feel to lead the team down for a score on that first drive, and you completed your first two passes.

Christensen: It felt good. Anytime you can take it and score almost effortlessly, it's great. It was a big drive in the game. It was pretty big for us, other than Andy's touchdown that was the most important series of plays.

Q: You have seen the worst and the best of sports this week.

Christensen: Yeah. I have seen it all now. I am sure there is another scenario I will cover before they year is over. When you play sports your whole life, you expect to encounter this stuff. The coaches did a good job preparing us

Q: Coach Ferentz never closed the book on QB completion coming into this week, he said we will see how it goes. Do you think you have opened that battle back up?

Christensen: I don't know. We will find out more Sunday or Monday or Tuesday. That is not up to me.

Q: Was this as excited as you have seen everyone?

Christensen: This was big, it was big for our coaches. They wanted this one bad. We have all taken a lot of heat, them included this past year. For us to win that trophy and get it back, it feels good

Q: You were the first one over there to the trophy….

Christensen: I couldn't find it; I was asking their players where the trophy was. They were not telling me. They were blocking it. Myers got to it first.


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