NW Postgame: Transcript - James Vandenberg

As you can imagine, James Vandenberg drew a crowd in Saturday's postgame. He relieved the injured Rick Stanzi in a 17-10 loss against Northwestern and now is the team's No. 1 QB. Read what Vandenberg had to say in this complete transcript from his seven-minute, postgame interview.

Q. What was it like when you went in there?

James Vandenberg: I felt comfortable. It's kind of one of those bittersweet situations where you just kind of have to step in. I wasn't able to make enough plays today to get us the victory.

Q:Were you nervous?

JV: It wasn't bad. A lot of the older guys helped me out. They were great with me the whole time.

Q: How many reps do you get during the week?

JV: I get enough. I don't get as much as the ones, obviously. But I get enough. Coach (Ken) O'Keefe and the whole offense, Rick especially, help me all through the week. I knew all the stuff. I just wasn't able to make enough plays.

Q: What went wrong out there?

JV: It was just little things. Me rushing it. They were giving me time and the receivers were working really hard, but I made some mistakes that I shouldn't make. And we had to pay for it in the end.

Q: When did you realize you'd be going in?

JV: I was ready as soon as he went down. I knew it was kind of an awkward falling. They turned to me and all the older guys got me up to speed. They had great confidence in me the whole day. They did a great job hanging with me.

Q: How'd you feel when you got in there?

JV: The older guys calmed me down and said this is going to be just like practice. We made some plays, just not enough. Give all of the credit to Northwestern.

Q: How was the speed of the game?

JV: It's definitely faster and the mistakes are a lot more painful. They did a good job of preparing us this week. So, it wasn't like a complete different environment.

Q: What happens now that you're moving into the No. 1 spot?

JV: I have to get in tonight and early tomorrow and watch the film as much as I can. It's all going to be about getting back to work Monday or Tuesday. We don't have time to hang our heads. We're going to hit the grindstone on Tuesday.

Q: What goes through your mind when you think about getting your first start at Ohio State?

JV: I haven't really thought about that yet. I'm worried about correcting the incorrect things I did today. I'll get on the film and we'll start on Ohio State on Tuesday.

Q: What mistakes did you make?

JV: There were a couple of throws I could have made, obviously, that I didn't. But we'll get it corrected.

Q: You still have a lot to play for, right?

JV: Especially for those older guys. This is their last hurrah. We know there's no time to hang our heads. We're in a race with two other good teams. It's all going to be about getting back to work.

Q: Did Rick help you out.

JV: Rick was great on the sideline, telling me all the little tips and the looks he saw during the week. I was pretty familiar with most of them. Obviously, we study all the film together. He puts in a ton of time. I try to hang right there with him to make sure if this does arise that I'll be ready.

Q: How were your nerves?

JV: The guys really did calm me down. All the defensive guys came up to me; all the O-line. All those older receivers really helped me out. They worked hard for me. The O-line gave me great time. We just didn't make quite enough plays.

Q: Did you even have time to think on that last drive?

JV: You have time to think and that's when it all comes back to you, your two-minute practice. I get a lot of those in camp. But I don't get to do that on a weekly basis. But we go through that all of the time, just mental scenarios, plays we're going to run, coverages, all that. They did a great job. They dropped back in coverage that last series and they played our guys tight, which made it difficult.

Q: What is your comfort level going forward?

JV: I'm comfortable. I've got to learn from today. That's especially true. We've got to move on. There's no time to dwell or be nervous any more. There's too much at stake.

Q: How would you grade your performance?

JV: Overall, it was only OK. It was good to get my feet wet, but there's no more time to waste now. It's time to go.

Q: Were you ready to go in there?

JV: I do feel like I was ready. Like I was saying earlier, they did a great job of preparing me during the week if this did arise. I felt comfortable with all the stuff they do, but give them the credit. They do a good job of mixing it up, which made it a little harder.

Q: Was it timing that caused some problems with the receivers?

JV: A little, but we all throw routes with those guys all through the week. So, it's not completely that. It's more settling down, getting your feet calm, and making the throws that you can make.

Q: Did you see what happened on the play that Ricky got hurt on?

JV: The guy really didn't fall for the fake and he went down. It just looked like he went down kind of awkward. I couldn't put my finger on it, but he's one of the toughest guys I know. When he lays there, I know it hurts. I immediately grabbed my helmet and they started talking to me. I was ready to go.

Q: Do you remember any of the throws you left out there?

JV: I remember every one. We had our shot. It's different when you're in the game and the speed is a whole lot quicker. You kind of have to slow yourself down sometimes. I missed a throw that I could have made. We were able to put some drives together but we couldn't quite get clicking. We made some plays but we couldn't quite make enough in a row to put a whole drive together.

Q: Are you confident in what you can do?

JV: I have a lot of confidence and I know these guys have confidence in me. They help me out so much that I'm ready to step into this role and lead this team because that's what we need. We can't settle now into a lull because of this loss. We still have to go because there's still a lot at stake.

Q: What were you thinking when you saw Rick go down?

JV: I actually didn't know it was a touchdown. I thought we had the ball on the one or two. I was unaware that it came out so I was thinking that we had to protect the ball, get it out and punt. Then I found out it was a touchdown for them. So, then it's just thinking about starting a whole new drive and thinking about what they like to do. They went over the game plan with me just real quick again and what I needed to be aware of. I was ready to go in.

Q: Were you a little to amped up out there?

JV: I was definitely a little too amped up. You could tell on some. There were a lot of plays out there that I could have made that I didn't. That's just the happy feet and stuff. I was just a little too amped up. But we'll get that fixed. We'll go to work. We'll check out the film and see exactly what I missed and we'll go back to work on Tuesday.

Q: Some might say that being Iowa's starting quarterback is the most pressure-packed athletic position in the state. Are you ready for that microscope?

JV: There's a lot of pressure out there, but I don't really see it on me. I see it on us as a team. We know there's a lot out there. There's a Big Ten Championship. It's not like all hope is lost. So, there's no reason to dwell on this one. It's time to get back to work.


Hawkeye Insider Top Stories