Orange Bowl: Day 2 - Kirk Ferentz Quotes

Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz answered some questions after the Hawkeyes' second day of practice in South Florida on Tuesday.

On today's practice - A little better, I think it was a little better. It was good for us to be outdoors and get used to that again. I thought the guys worked pretty well today.

On the long layoff prior to the FedEx Orange Bowl - I think what we try to do is make sure we get a certain amount of practices that are a really good tempo. We don't do any live work, but we work at a pretty good clip and just try to keep the guys sharp and the fundamentals sharp.

It is a long time, there's no doubt about that. I think the delay a lot of the time is more mental than physical. As long as everybody's heads are into it we'll be okay.

On the conditioning of the team after the layoff between games - I'm not worried about that. We wanted to get here early just in case. It really hasn't been too bad. The guys have been training really hard all December so I don't think that's going to be an issue at all.

On doing things different than when the Hawkeyes were here in 2003 - It seems like it was decades ago not six years ago. It is a really distant memory. I think our biggest problem that year was that was our first year [in a BCS Bowl].

The year before we went to our first bowl game [2001 Alamo Bowl vs. Texas Tech] and this [2003] was our first year playing at a higher altitude. I think that was tough on us. We spent a lot of time probably celebrating or taking bows in December instead.

Also realizing you have to keep working and get ready for a bowl game. We haven't been in a BCS game since that one, but we've been in a lot of January bowls. I think at least we've learned a little bit better how to keep our focus where it needs to be.

On having extra time to prepare for the Georgia Tech offense - That part's been good. The good news is, we've had time. The bad news is, we can't come close to simulating what they do with the precision, speed and the expertise. That they have. We're getting a lot of looks at it I guess, it's just not the look we'll be seeing on the 5th, that's for sure.

On the Georgia Tech defense and any comparisons - I'm not good at the comparison game, but they're very good. They've had some injuries that forced them to play a three down line scheme so we're not quite sure the percentages we'll see of their fronts and defenses that they run.

I think more than anything else it's just going to get down to, on both sides, to how they execute, and how both teams execute. My guess is both teams will be well prepared and it gets down to that execution.

On getting QB Ricky Stanzi back for the bowl game - It will be good. Rick is clearly one of our leaders. The team voted on him to be one of our permanent captains for the year, one of two juniors that we had voted in. He's got a lot of experience. A lot of good experience and he's a great leader. It will certainly be great to have him back.

That being said, we're really pleased with James Vandenberg. He did a great job stepping in, but Rick is our quarterback right now and we're hoping he's fully ready to go. He appears to be and it will be good to have him back in the line-up.

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