Post ISU: Rick Stanzi Q&A

Rick Stanzi and everyone else in the Hawkeye Nation knew that the sledding would get a bit tougher when the Cyclones came to town. Stanzi showed some good, some not so good on Saturday, but it was a learning experience. He talked about that during a lengthy post game interview session, and much more...

Q: How did things feel out there to you?

Rick Stanzi: The first half of the game, it didn't come out the way I wanted to. Credit to the OL and the running game, they did a great job and played their butts off. Shonn did a great job running and the receivers ran great routes. I wish I could have gotten them the ball, that was my bad. I was antsy on my feet a few times. Preparation wise, things were the same, but the jitters may have gotten to me. Something you learn from.

Q: Were your jitters responsible for you not playing well?

Stanzi: Possibly; it's hard to say. It was a different game setting. Coming out there, one thing goes wrong, another little thing, false starts, falling down. No matter what, however you look at it it's a victory. We appreciate everything the defense does out there. They played very hard. The O-Line came ready to play today. They picked up blitzes and got the yards when we needed them.

Q: What did you say to Jake when you came out of the game?

Stanzi: ‘Go get the job done'. I wasn't getting it done, that was obvious. We needed someone to come in and get the job done and step up and he did a great job.

Q: Who starts next week?

Stanzi: That is up to the coaches, we will see what they say. Whatever it is, that is best for the team and we will go with it.

Q: Is this a learning experience for you?

Stanzi: You can learn from everything, good or bad. It wasn't a good performance on my part at all. The team did a great job picking me up when I was down, when I came out. I wasn't doing anything in there, which was obvious. I was not feeling it when I was passing. A changed needed to be made and coach did a good job, so did Jake.

Q: Was the ball being wet affecting you?

Stanzi: No, the ball really wasn't that wet at any specific time, to be honest.

Q: Talk about the performance you got from Shonn

Stanzi: Shonn did a great job. Running behind the line, he did excellent. He rarely goes down on the first hit. You see that. He is a go to guy at tough times, he knows that and carries it on his back and the line takes pride opening holes.

Q: You guys didn't get the type of yards today that you have had the past two games.

Stanzi: Each game is a new task, it's a new defense. It's never going to be the same way each week. Whatever it takes to win the game is important. Special teams played a great part, Brodell's punt return. However we find a way to win is all that matters. We are excited about the victory. It was great for us, and we are excited to get back to work.

Q: The first two games were easy for the for the offense, and this was a challenge. How do you think you guys did?

Stanzi: Good. If I were here talking after a loss, not so good. But it was a team effort, like coach said. There is no better way to put it than that. Everyone did their part and role. Our offense was not humming as it was the first two weeks. But if you win and don't click, that is fine. Hopefully we can learn and be better next week.

Q: Was it disappointing to be taken out?

Stanzi: Yeah, it was. But it was the right move. I wasn't getting anything done. I knew it, coaches knew it, everyone knew it. If you are not jelling with the offense, a change needed to be made. Jake was fresh, he was ready to go, did a great job of leading and scored a crucial touchdown. He made a great check on that run to Shonn. That was all Jake. He did a great job while he was out there.

Q: What did you see when you threw that second pick?

Stanzi: I thought I could fit it in there. You learn from those things. Next time I see that, I won't make the same mistake.

Q: Is this a relief pitcher situation now?

Stanzi: I am not sure what the situation is. It is whatever the coaches feel. They will watch the films. Whatever they decide, that is the way that it is and what we will do and the best for the team.

Q: How much of a learning experience will this be for you?

Stanzi: A big one. I will have to look at the film, and dissect what I did wrong. There will always be mistakes. There were some last week, but this week they stood out more and were more crucial. I can't make those mistakes. There were mistakes on the offense we can't make on the whole. We will work on things and correct them in practice and come back next week ready to play.

Q: Do you expect quarterback competition this week heading into Pitt?

Stanzi: No one has said anything to me yet. Possibly. Whatever the coaches decide on, that is what we will go with.

Q: Talk about the decision when Jake came in, were you mad?

Stanzi: He should have been going in. I wasn't doing the job. Credit to him, he did a great job of leading and he was ready to go. The checks, everything.

Q: Coach said you may have been guessing a bit in the first half.

Stanzi: A little bit. I think I was somewhat outthinking myself out there. I could feel that. I was trying to do too much and I almost felt helpless at points. The offense picked me up when I was down. No one yelled at anybody. We did what we had to do. Coach put Jake in and he did a great job.

Q: Was your confidence shaken today?

Stanzi: Not really, well, a little bit yeah. I was more upset with how I was outthinking myself, not letting the game come to me. I was trying to go out and take it. I think you have to let the game happen and go out there and play. I made some mistakes but I can learn from them. I look forward to watching the film and go from there.

Q: Did you hear things around campus this week, like you were the second coming, the competition is over?

Stanzi: You hear those things. I know that stuff doesn't matter. Every week is different. I didn't really listen to that, I don't like that. There is pressure anyway on me no matter what I am doing. It's one of those things. I wasn't at my best obviously. We are a team, and whatever you have to do to win the game, I am fine with it. And putting Jake in, that benefited the team. It was a great win for us and we are excited. It's great for the fans, they were there all day, no matter the weather. It's exciting, this win, we are 3-0. That is all we can ask for now.

Q: What did you learn about the rivalry today?

Stanzi: The main thing is they are going to play tough. We knew that on film. They came out ready to play and credit to us, we played hard also. A few things went our way and their way. In the end, it was a dog fight. Andy made a great play out there, and I have never seen so much excitement on our sidelines. That was a great feeling.

Q: How big was the momentum shift on that punt return?

Stanzi: Special teams is one of the biggest momentum shifters in a game. It's easy to see. That punt return, if he gets tackled back there in their territory and go three and out, it's a whole different ball game. He takes that punt to the house, that is unreal what it does for the team, what the crowd does to the other team. It's a great play, and we were excited about our special teams stepping up for us.


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