Stanzi Pleased with Progress

Before the 2008 season started, Rick Stanzi was known only because he was the backup quarterback for the Iowa Hawkeyes. That is a spotlight role in Iowa City, but Stanzi went out and took advantage of the opportunities he was given, won the job and led Iowa to five wins in its final six games. Read his comments following the win at Minnesota.

Q: Do you look at Shonn and think he is the best in the nation?

Rick Stanzi: Absolutely. I would vote for him as the best in the country. Shonn is not worried about that sort of thing. We are worried about how we play on Saturday, that is all that matters. Rankings don't matter, we just want to come out and win on the road and get wins. Just prove ourselves, to do what we set out to do and what we worked so hard for.

Q: You had a slow start, then things picked up for you.

Stanzi: That first quarter, it was a feeling out process. It always is. It's hard to come out against a team that gives a lot of different looks. You will have that. One thing we have done all year is respond well. That was a tough first quarter. The defense kept us in it like they always do. We responded and came back and put points on the board.

Q: Do you take time to reflect on your season this week?

Stanzi: There is not an opponent now and no one to focus on. You have no choice but to reflect. The thing for us is look back at how hard we played, and see where we can create some different opportunities for ourselves, fix some mistakes from the past and work on that while we have some time. We can go back and focus and not focus on a team that is coming up this week.

Q: Individually, what have you learned the last eight or nine weeks?

Stanzi: Coach has been talking all season about responding. That is the main thing I have learned, when things start to go bad, you keep your head up and respond well. This is about team. When things are going bad for you, shake it off and go to the next play. I think our team has had that attitude. We pushed through tough times.

Q: Talk about where the program was last year after the last game, to now.

Stanzi: We were a tight group back then, and people can't see that. We knew what we had in house, we knew the kind of guys we had in the program. We knew that if we put in the work, like the coaches say, good things will happen. That is what we did and we are happy to be in this position and have such a nice way to go out on this season, especially for the seniors. Up here, on the road, a Big ten win on the road is hard to come by and we are happy to get that. A trophy game, things are going well. It's a sense of a reward for all of the hard work paying off, and we can see what the coaches say. When you look back on things, it doesn't seem like it was that hard, but it was. We are just excited about our opportunities that are ahead of us, but humble at the same time.

Q: You lost four games by 12 points; do you think about what might have been?

Stanzi: People will say that, but you have to remember that we got better each week. That is our thing. We are not the same team that we were in the third or fourth game. It's hard to say all of the what if's, because we are not the same team. That is a part of sports; you get better as the season goes on if you are doing the right things. We are where we are, and our record is what it is. We won't look back, we will just keep our eyes going forward and be humble and be ready to go back to work.

Q: What happened in the first quarter with the timeouts?

Stanzi: We didn't have enough time to get a good check in, and everyone wouldn't be able to hear that.

Q: What did you think of Shonn setting the record?

Stanzi: It's awesome. We are proud of him. He is such a humble person. When you have someone like that, and is not a me person and is more about the team, you can't help but be happy for someone like that. He has done such a great job of responding and being a team player. We are happy he broke that record the way he did it.

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