Q: I'm sure you have talked about this. How is Norm (Parker) and what's his situation there?
Kirk Ferentz: Yeah, he's been pushing the envelope. He's got that foot that…Porbably, realistically, he's being moving around more than he should the past 14 weeks or whatever. So, anyway, we're just trying to protect him. He was up in the box coaching from up there. We'll take it week by week, but it may be that he has to stay up there. We need to get this thing settled.
Q: You won the Big Ten in '04 with him up there.
KF: That's what he said back in July. I hope he's a prophet. He also said that he's not willing to do this again.
Q: Was he in the hospital this week?
KF: He spent some time in there. They're just antibiotics and doing some treatments to try to get him well.
Q: I don't mean this as a crazy question, but is Ricky crazy? How do you wipe that off?
KF: Nah, I don't think he's crazy. He's mentally tough. He is definitely mentally tough.
Q: Mentally something.
KF: He's mentally tough. We're talking about pushing it to the limit. The wind was a little factor. It's timing sometimes.
Q: The ones in the end zone seemed that way.
KF: Yeah, it seemed that way.
Q: Coach, the decision to defer to the second half. How much did the wind play a factor in that?
KF: I just said that we did it against Penn State and it worked out beautifully. We did it against Michigan State in '03 and got the same result. They took the ball and drove it for a touchdown. So, that might have been my second dumbest decision today.
Q: What's going through your mind when you watch Tyler's interception return?
KF: A, I've never seen a play like that. I didn't truly see all of the details. I just saw it in the locker room. Secondly, it was really the spark that we needed. We needed it badly because we were up against it and in trouble.
Q: Did anybody see all of the details on that play?
KF: (Video man) Jerry (Palmer) showed it to me on his little video thing. One of the guys upstairs said they thought it hit a couple of people.
Q: Ballard, 73…
KF: It started off on Sash's helmet, though, right? It's the craziest play ever. I've never seen something like that. How could you ever see something like that? And then, fortunately, he's got good speed.
Q: Does that show you have to be a little lucky, too, to be successful?
KF: Yeah. I'm not father time or anything like that, but I've been around four championship teams here. You have to have some good fortune. I think teams force that. I'm not a big believer in total fate, but we had some exciting moments in '85. We certainly did in '81. We had some real peaks and valleys in '02 and '04, too. So, if you're going to get into that picture, you're really going to have to have some crazy games. I'd say we've probably used them all up this year.
Q: Can you remember winning a game when your quarterback throws five picks?
KF: No. That's one to look up. I don't know if that's ever happened here.
Q: Gary Snook was the last one. I don't know if they won.
KF: That's a tough one to survive. Almost impossible.
Q: What is the percentage?
KF: I don't know. It hasn't happened recently. I know that.
Q: Coach, can you talk a little bit about the offensive line? They had some good defensive ends.
KF: I thought he line played well, personally. We gave up the one sack coming out of the South End Zone. We just blew an assignment on one of them. What did they end up with, two or three? I thought overall it was pretty good. It seemed like it from the sideline. I thought the guys up front really did some good things. They made it tough for us to run.
Q: You didn't have good field position on the first two passes of the fourth quarter. Did you want to be aggressive? Did you feel you had to be aggressive?
KF: We had to do something. That's kind of what I was trying to do in the first half, but that was just stupid. That's different. That was just stupid, you know, going for the punt return. But, yeah, we had to do something. And they were kind of up in there. They made it tough for us to run the football.
Q: The two touchdowns you got in the fourth quarter that Rick threw, what did you guys see with the play action there?
KF: Again, they were up in there pretty good. We felt like that gave us our best shot, so we just went with the hard play-action. And then Rick did a good job putting the ball where it had to be and those guys finished the runs which was just great to see. I thought that guy was going to get McNutt, but then he kind of pulled out of it and showed a little bit more speed than we all thought he had.
Q: He was thinking the same thing, too, when he was running, he said.
KF: That was a good, strong run. Then he took off.
Q: You've been around football a long time.
KF: Are you saying I'm old?
Q: As far as bizarre games, where does this one rank?
KF: I think it's got to be at the top. I know I haven't been to a game like this and I doubt I've seen one like this. It was just so different. You never survive five turnovers let alone five picks; and then the fumble on the fumble on the punt return. So, the odds are, I would almost say nil, maybe not. But it's close if it's not. We looked like a good football team in that fourth quarter, offensively. Our defense, again, they just kept playing. They did a lot of good things. They bailed us out of some trouble.
Q: You had some guys in the interview room throw back the lucky thing. That seems to have resonated. They hear that from national media it sounds like and they don't like it anymore.
KF: You know, people can think whatever they want. We got nine. I know we don't have to give any of them back. But I can understand why people think that. That's OK.
Q: Can't you just keep using that as motivation, too?
KF: Yeah, we might try doing that. (laughter)
Q: Kirk, if you were on the outside, how would you view your team?
KF: I'm on the inside. I'd say we're resilient and we find ways to get it done; a lot of different ways, which is a good thing.
Q: Did Trey (Stross) tweak anything?
KF: I think he's OK. I think he's OK.
Q: What about (Jeremiha) Hunter?
KF: I think he's OK as far as I know, yeah.
KF: He's OK, too. He took a shot in the leg. He got dinged up there a little. He should be OK. He went back in.
Q: Nobody new?
KF: I don't think so. I was worried about Adrian. I was hoping it wasn't a joint; that was my first thought. Greenwood tried to go. He just couldn't go.
Q: What is that a neck injury?
KF: Yeah, it's just soreness more than anything else. He didn't have a concussion last week. He's just sore. He tried. He practiced all week, but we didn't have him tackle anybody.
Q: Brooksie said it's the weirdest game he's seen in all of his years.
KF: He's seen more than I have. I know that. I think it is. It was just a bizarre game. They played hard. They played a good game against us. It's really not representative of the way they played.