Orange Reaction: Transcript - Kirk Ferentz

Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz met with media on Sunday after the Hawkeyes learned of their Orange Bowl bid. Read what the coach had to say in this transcript.


Opening Statement:

Well thank you, Gary. Obviously we're thrilled to death. We were very excited to get the news today. We're very appreciative to the folks at the FedEx Orange Bowl for the faith that they've put in us.

We're excited to be matched up with a tremendous football team. (Georgia Tech) Coach (Paul) Johnson and his staff have done a tremendous job there in two years time. It's going to be a great challenge for us.

We're very appreciative to our players. They've done an outstanding job, as Gary said, really back to last January preparing and persevering through a very challenging season.

I think our coaching staff did a tremendous job and I too want to thank our fans because that's one of the things that really helps us when it comes time for bowl selection. Our fan support is notorious and very, very well known.

I think it's something everybody is certainly excited about and we're thrilled to be going to south Florida. The last time we were in a BCS game, interestingly enough, was the Orange Bowl and it was our worst bowl performance without a doubt.

Hopefully, this time we'll have a chance to go down and play a little bit better football game. We're excited to participate in what should be a very interesting and exciting game.

On his reaction to being selected to a BCS Bowl Game:

Coach Ferentz - We were just thrilled to find out that we are going to the Orange Bowl. We were hopeful to be going somewhere in a BCS game. This is just a nice bonus for us.

None of our players on this team have been involved in this game. The last time down there we had a tremendous experience; we didn't play nearly as well as we would have hoped to. But, everything else about the trip was extremely positive. We're all very excited.

On the implications and watching the Texas-Nebraska game last night:

Coach Ferentz - I did watch it and I heard some talk today that we would have been paired up with Nebraska in the Fiesta… that was news to me.

There is just so much talk in general, but I thought last night that it would have been good for us if Texas won, so I experienced a little bit of anxiety, like a lot of Iowa fans last evening. Bottom line is that we are just thrilled.

On how many things associated with Iowa football this year coming down to the final seconds:

Coach Ferentz - It was probably appropriate last night - I wasn't quite sure if that second was going to be left on the clock; what an ending there. I've been able to watch a lot of crazy endings the last couple weeks and last night fit right into what we've seen all season long.

On this year being so rewarding:

Coach Ferentz - Having a chance to watch games over Thanksgiving and the last 24 hours - if you look at football, any time you win you should be appreciative. It's such a fine line in college football - its competitive, teams find ways to win, particularly at the end of the game.

That's why we've had a good feeling about this football team all season long. If it wasn't for their resolve, the way they persevered during the course of the year, we wouldn't be sitting here tonight talking about a BCS bid.

The credit really goes to our players. They've done a wonderful job all season. They've handled all the challenges that we've had, and there were many, especially on the injury front. Our guys just kept pushing forward. We're really proud of what they've done and very excited about the opportunity ahead of us.

That being said, we know we have a great challenge in Georgia Tech. They've had an exceptional year. Coach Johnson has done a great job there in a short amount of time. It will be very tough preparation, I know that much.

On Iowa's last Orange Bowl performance:

Coach Ferentz - I draw a parallel between that experience and our 1981 Rose Bowl from my personal experiences. I think we were just happy to be there.

Back in 2002-03, there was a lot of hoopla surrounding our team at that point and we probably got all caught up in the euphoria of the whole thing. We enjoyed the experience, there is no question about that, and we played a good football team, too (USC).

On when the team will leave:

Coach Ferentz - Roughly around December 27th or 28th, that's when we will travel. We want to make sure we have enough time to get acclimated to the temperatures, since they are a little different than what we are used to up here.

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