Ferentz: We Have A Good Football Team

After Iowa's win over Indiana, a few of the Hawkeye players said things like 'we don't think we have been beaten this year.' Iowa had lost three in a row by a combined nine points, and turnovers played a hand in the last two. Iowa had zero turnovers on Saturday en route to a rout of Indiana. Kirk Ferentz talked about that in this Q&A

Q: Opening Statment

Kirk Ferentz: We were thrilled to get the win. It didn't come easy. I can't remember a game here being easy for us and our guys had to work today. I am thrilled and proud of our team. They have been working hard, playing hard and today we played cleaner and smarter. Happy the guys had some success. We will enjoy it for the next day.

Q: It looks like this offensive line just keeps getting better and better.

Ferentz: In my estimation they have been playing pretty good football for a month. They gained confidence each week. I think they are practicing well and that is carrying over to games. We are more experienced and more stout than we were a year ago. It's a credit to the way the guys have worked. Throw Bruggeman in there coming off an injury, he is playing like a 5th year senior. IT has been fun to watch those guys come along.

Q: How important was it to come out in the third quarter strong?

Ferentz: They showed their explosiveness and we have great respect for that. They scored right before the half against Michigan State and did the same things against us. In my mind, I am thinking we get a field goal after stopping them. Next thing you know they are right down the field in short time. They closed the gap on us. It was important to come out and get a good kickoff, play good defense and our guys responded. On that topic, it was a good team win, but our kickers, Daniel Murray and Ryan Donahue really played a good game. Ryan controlled field position, and all but one of Daniel's kickoffs was nicely done. He had a tackle too, not sure I would have predicted that one. I did not have positives thoughts at that moment.

Q: You guys have been struggling offensively in the third quarter. You scored twice this week.

Ferentz: That was good to see. Getting a stop and coming in and taking the ball down the field. We did a good job controlling field position and finishing drives, which we have struggled with. A lot has to do with not turning the ball over.

Q: And you didn't have a turnover today.

Ferentz: No, we didn't. that was good to see. A few near calls with our young running back, but those don't count.

Q: You were not down on Tuesday, after three losses.

Ferentz: I read someone's review, I can't recall which ones, after Tuesday's press conference, they were expecting me to be doom and gloom. I am around these guys each day, they work hard and they have been consistent since March. We don't have a lot of seniors but we are getting great leadership. Everyone else is following right along. They are working hard and have a positive attitude. They were well aware of what we had been doing to not have success. The challenge is getting those things corrected and that is where our focus has been. No one has been discouraged. Disappointed, yes. We feel like we have a good football team. It's a matter of us trying to become a little more consistent.

Q: Talk about Jewell Hampton.

Ferentz: It was good to see him have those opportunities and I thought he did a nice job stepping in and being ready to go. Chad Geary had to jump in on defense and did a good job. Reisner and Sabers at tight end. It was good to see Hampton, he is gaining ground each and every week. He had more opportunities to carry against good competition. He is doing well

Q: Was Shonn hurt early?

Ferentz: A little bit early. It will be that way. He has a target on his back right now. His attitude has been outstanding. He doesn't want to come out of a game, and that is good to see and we love that about Shonn.

Q: Is it nice to get a win, a big win on the scoreboard?

Ferentz: Yeah. Definitely it is. But one point would have been fine. We wanted to feel good about ourselves. Our guys have been working hard and you would like to see them get rewarded at some point. You work so hard for that, so it was really good to see that. We have one more week before the bye and we will enjoy this and go back to work tomorrow.

Q: Special teams looked good save for that long kickoff return.

Ferentz: You take that one play out of there; I thought our coverage was really good. It was good to see our special teams come to life last week and we wanted to go back to back. Hopefully we can keep our foot on the gas pedal because that has to be there for us to have a chance.

Q: Is the Wisconsin game a chance to make a statement for this team?

Ferentz: It's game eight on our schedule. Every time we get together with Wisconsin, it's a tough game outside of the 1999 game. It is a great rivalry game, a great series and they have an excellent football team and they have had a few tough weeks against very good opponents. No one is more veteran or talented than those guys coming into the season. It will be great to be back in Kinnick.

Q: Talk about Stanzi's progress.

Ferentz: He started slow today, I thought. Things weren't going real smoothly. We wasted two plays early, where we didn't look like a well oiled machine. That is part of the growing pains, but he settled down and made some good plays for us. Each snap he is out there is valuable for him. His attitude has been great. He is like the team in that way. Hopefully he will continue to grow.

Q: Talk about the play of the defensive line, given the weapons that Indiana had in Lewis and Thigpen.

Ferentz: We had tremendous respect for both of those guys. They can hurt you so quickly as we well know. It doesn't take much to hurt you. That being said, I think our defensive line has been competing. Just like the offensive line. They have been doing well the last month and they are growing with each game, too. King and Kroul are vets, but two guys outside plus Binns, Klug, Daniels, Geary jumped in there. It's important that they keep coming because we will need all of those guys next week against a big offensive group, and all of those guys will play a prominent role

Q: Is Mike Daniels OK (he collapsed after the game)

Ferentz: I am hoping it was just cramps. All his vitals are normal. We hope to find out that it's asthma, hopefully nothing serious.

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