Ferentz: We are Getting Better

"We were disappointed to lose today. It's a tough pill to swallow, that is three straight. Our guys were competing hard and they are making improvement. It's frustrating, it's disappointing and there is no solution to it other than keep pushing forward and clean up our play." Read more from Kirk Ferentz's post game presser....

Kirk Ferentz Opening Statement

We were disappointed to lose today. It's a tough pill to swallow, that is three straight. Not much fun there. It was a hard fought game and both teams competed hard. We didn't make enough plays to win the game and you can go up and down the list, not unlike last week. We came up short. Our guys were competing hard and they are making improvement. It's frustrating, it's disappointing and there is no solution to it other than keep pushing forward and clean up our play to get in the win column and that is what we will set out to do starting tomorrow. Q: What was the play you were trying to run on your last play of the game?

Kirk Ferentz: It looked like a run play to our left, Shonn Green carrying, and we came up short.

Q: Was there a missed block?

Ferentz: It was like going for a punt block at the end of the game. They sold out and stacked the box and had more guys than we had. That is a tough feeling, and their guy made a good play. That is the way it goes.

Q: That would have been a 38 yard field goal attempt. Did you think about kicking that?

Ferentz: Yeah, I thought about and earlier in the game, too. We just decided our best shot was taking two shots at it. They did a good job in the short yard situations. They put all of their big people out there. Bottom line we didn't execute.

Q: A quarterback sneak worked earlier, did you think about doing that again?

Ferentz: It had worked earlier against a different defense. They had too many big people out there.

Q: The team had some great moments of execution.

Ferentz: That is what will get lost in the last three weeks, some things we are doing well right now, on both sides of the ball. We have to have our special teams lift up and today they did, as we had been poor there the past two weeks. That is encouraging. What we need to do now is tie it all together. We get the ball inside the 25 we have to get points and we are not getting that done right now. That has hurt us the past few weeks and did again today. That is the story of the game. We gave them a possession inside their red zone, too.

Q: Talk about those turnovers in the red zone in the first half.

Ferentz: Those two plus the one where we let a guy come through virtually unblocked and hit our quarterback, we gave them three points and the defense did a good job. When you turn it over like that, it will be tough to win against good teams in our conference.

Q: How is Tony Moeaki?

Ferentz: He has a leg strain. Nothing fatal. That is good news, but how realistic next week is we will find out more tomorrow.

Q: Is there a learning curve with a young quarterback?

Ferentz: (Laughs) Everyone was clamoring for him and I am not arguing that. But that is part of the deal. I am not pinning this on Rick, either. It was a factor. That is the downside of youth and inexperience. But he showed some upside, he made a great throw for a touchdown and after that. He can stand in the pocket and deliver the ball where it has to be put. I thought he did a good job with awareness, knowing what was going on in all phases of the game. We are seeing growth there. He is one of the guys I am referring to with regards to things going in the right directions.

Q: How did you slow down Ringer?

Ferentz: It's tough. We have had three great backs in a row, McCoy, Sutton and Ringer. They are top notch running backs. It gets down to playing great team defense. One guy is not going to take that guy out of the game. That is one of the good things I will refer to. The guys did a good job against the run. When you play a guy like that, he can get you once or twice. I think that is encouraging.

Q: You had three or four tacklers around the ball

Ferentz: With a guy like him, if you don't, good luck. He is tough to bring down and he is a very determined runner. The guys were hustling and working hard. One drive we had we had a facemask penalty then gave up a big play and then we settled down.

Q: Can you talk about that pass interference call against Greenwood?

Ferentz: Wow. Yeah, I can. I am anxious to see the replay. I know what I saw, maybe I saw it wrong. I thought I saw Greenwood get run over by a big receiver. That is what I thought.

Q: Talk about Shonn Greene and the offensive line, you guys controlled the game there.

Ferentz: We didn't control it enough. We are gaining ground up front. Those guys are working hard. I think they are maturing and competing real hard. I am seeing improvement there each and every week, and that is encouraging. We have a young quarterback making progress, a running back that is so consistent. I am impressed with his yardage, but the real gauge is the last four weeks, his consistency is there, each carry. The surrounding group is helping him out too. If we can pull this thing together tighter, we will have a chance to have a decent offense.

Q: Tomorrow, will you focus on the good things in this game?

Ferentz: We do the same thing each Sunday, we look at the good and the bad and sometimes the ugly. We try to show them what is good, the things that we were not doing well. We address all of that. We focus on improvement, like every team. We have to get over that hump and we are not quite there.

Q: Is it frustrating because you are doing some of the key things to win games, running the ball and stopping the run?

Ferentz: That is a good start. Now what we have to do is clean up some situational things that are not quite there yet. Ironically, I don't think there is any comparison to this team and laset year's team. But last year we took very good care of the ball, we did a nice job on that. We couldn't move it, but we took real good care of it. That has to be the next step for us, doing a little better job there.

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