Arizona Week: Kirk on the Side

The Iowa Hawkeyes will welcome the Arizona Wildcats to Kinnick Stadium on Saturday. Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz spoke with the media on Tuesday and spent some time talking about the Stoops brothers and much more in this On the Side interview

Q: Anthony Bowman will be playing against Iowa State this weekend.

Kirk Ferentz: We have had guys leave the program, most of the issues are maturity issues. My hopes for every guy, whether they stay here or go somewhere else, is for them to grow and get their stuff together and grow into real good adults. Anthony is a good young guy with a good family and support system. I wish all of those guys well.

Q: Are you surprised that Rick has been so erratic in the first two games?

Ferentz: I almost wonder if he is pressing too much. The throw to Tony the other day sailed high. I don't know anything about being a quarterback, but I used to throw a baseball and if you press too hard, that is what happens. I think a little of that is going on.

Q: Who is the best Stoops football player?

Ferentz: They all brought something different.

Q: Were they all safeties?

Ferentz: Yes, all three of them. They were down in the box hitting people too. I mentioned Mike's play, but my play for Bob Stoops would have been the opening play against Michigan State in 1981 and blew the tight end up, the ball went up in the air and he took it down to the one and the place went crazy. My moment for Mark was in the office. He came as I was about to leave, I just remember he was here for a recruiting weekend and walking by Bill Brashier's offense and Mark was talking to him, and he said ‘I have to keep reminding myself he is a Stoops, he looks like he is 13 years old.' All three are coach's kids with a great mentality. Bob saved my marriage. What is the tallest ladder you can get? We had a house that had a two story peak, and he did the full extension work and trim, or I would still be painting the house. They grew up painting houses, a Catholic School coach, and that is what they did in the summers. I was a scraper when I painted. They didn't trust me with a brush, you scrape.

Q: Has Tyler Sash made a big leap? He seemed to be more of a basketball player coming out of high school. Has he progressed quicker than you thought?

Ferentz: He was just a good athlete. We thought he had real potential as a safety. It's not exactly the same, but like Brett Greenwood a year ago...when he got thrown in back in 2007, it's what Sash was doing last year. Now they know how to play the position. You play a lot faster when you know what your job is, and more decisive. Two of those balls were tipped the other day too, and that is good team defense. Tyler has good athleticism, good size and he has the makings of being a real good safety.

Q: When reshuffle the offensive line does it affect the running game more or the passing game? Timing?

Ferentz: It affects everything. Just cohesiveness. An offensive line is a lot like a basketball team. The more the guys work together the better it is. It doesn't have to be the same five, but you want some kind of pattern going for what the other guys are doing.

Q: With Bulaga, how much do you need to see him this week to use him?

Ferentz: It really depends on when he is cleared. It's not if he will be cleared, but when he is cleared. I am getting nervous though, because most players play better if they practice and don't play well when they don't practice.

Q: Do you have a drop dead date during the week?

Ferentz: It's different for everyone, but yes. I would feel better if you get them back Wednesday. Last week, when we found out he wasn't going, we are still playing. I know it was a big thing, but we are not going to call the season off or change our entire game plan. That would be rare to do something like that. Quarterback, maybe. But we can't shut it down because one guy is out. No one wants him out there more than me and Reese. That is football.

Q: So who was the player quarantined?

Ferentz: The guy was not dressed. I can't believe you guys didn't get that. I thought you counted jersey's and bodies. How about that? You body counters. I am always amazed at picture day, ‘so and so wasn't there'. That is pretty good.

Q: You can make it easy on us.

Ferentz: I am not going to do that, I am not going to confirm or deny.

Q: #47?

Ferentz: You guys are good. You need to start golfing or something.

Q: Was Eubanks hurt?

Ferentz: He was worn out and dehydrated.

Q: Is Dace getting a bit of a mean streak in him now?

Ferentz: I don't know about that, but he is playing with more confidence. He was gone for a long time. He was on the milk cartons for a while. We were looking for him. He is getting back into the flow of things. He looked more comfortable Saturday.

Q: What did Koeppel show you?

Ferentz: He knocked a linebacker over in the bowl game. He has practiced well and is a good football player.

Q: You were in some four and five WR sets on Saturday.

Ferentz: We emptied out and the back was out there. We have done that before. I am not anti-spread or anti-pass. We are improving. We are maturing.

Q: ISU took away Tony.

Ferentz: He was getting a lot of attention, that is for sure, other than the one play he was wide open. That was rare the other day.

Q: Stross seems to be finding his game.

Ferentz: He is the only senior there, I don't know that Don Nordeman is a marquis guy, but he has been practicing well. Things show up on the field what you do in practices, and overall as a group we are maturing right now. Paul Chaney is a much better player than a year ago and that is a good thing. Marvin is a much better receiver than he was a year ago. We are making some progress. Derrell is getting better and Trey is getting better.

Q: Did track help Chaney gain confidence?

Ferentz: In my view, it seems like he gained some confidence in general, he did track last winter and spring and did well. If a guy does well in special teams, you gain confidence and that carries over to another position. I draw an analogy here

Q: Are you comfortable with what you are getting out of your pass rush?

Ferentz: We are doing OK.

Q: Two or three people said Moeaki's blocking saturday was incredible.

Ferentz: It was pretty good. It was pretty good. It was good in camp, too. He is a pretty good player (grunt)

Q: Donahue has placed seven punts inside the 20; what has that done for you?

Ferentz: It's such a big thing. He is really performing well right now. He performed well last year. I thought he was a good player last year and he continues to improve.

Q: You said players practice like play, has Stanzi been inconsistent in practice?

Ferentz: I think he can do better. That is how you correct things. You get sharper in practice

Q: Do you think the team has moved on from the big win on Saturday?

Ferentz: Yeah, I did. I think we got over the UNI win if that makes sense, and we typically do a good job of moving on, win or lose. We were all thrilled to death to win and enjoyed it, but on Sunday you go back to the tape and move on to the next phase.

Q: No concern for a letdown?

Ferentz: No. I assume they saw the tape on Arizona, and that will focus them fast. If they look at the tape its impressive.

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