Coach Speak: Kirk Ferentz

Selected quotes about the Golden Gophers and the upcoming game between boarder-rivals Iowa and Minnesota from Hawkeyes head coach Kirk Ferentz.

Q. Is this a better Minnesota team than the last two?

COACH FERENTZ: Absolutely. They're 4-0, first of all. I think I read somewhere it's the first time they've done it since '08, since they started this fast. All you have to do is just watch them play on film. They're playing well. They're playing with confidence. They're playing fast. Part of that is second year in the system. They've done a great job up there. The coaching staff's done a great job. Most importantly, the players are really playing well.

Q. What about this team stands out with Jerry Kill? Is there anything they do that's kind of the trademark?

COACH FERENTZ: They win. That's-- and I think, if you go all the way back, it really caught my attention at Southern Illinois. Certainly, he went up to Northern Illinois and continued that. And they're doing the same thing right now.

He's got a staff that's been with him for a long time. They do a great job at it. It just shows in the play. Ultimately, you get evaluated on how the team plays, I think. To me that's what it's all about and what they look like on film. They're very impressive in all three areas-- offensively, defensively, and special teams.

I would just add in there, you lose your marquee player and your quarterback, and it doesn't slow them down at all. They go on to win the Western game and come back last week and win a big game as well. So when you can play through things that would be challenging to anybody, that's really-- that's an impressive thing, and it says a lot about their players and their staff.

Q. Troy Stoudermire has been there, it seems like, forever.

COACH FERENTZ: It does seem that way.

Q. In '08, he had 500 yards kickoff return against you.

COACH FERENTZ: I think he's 28 or 29 return right now.

Q. What challenges does he present? Both from that standpoint and also as a cornerback.

COACH FERENTZ: He's a really good defensive player and has been. The return part of it is he's just-- he's got a knack. Some guys do that really well, some don't. He had it coming in as a true freshman, as we found out firsthand. We've done well at times against him, but we haven't done so well at other times. That's certainly one of the things on our list right now. We need to do a good job there because he's a very dangerous, very explosive return guy.

Q. How are they different with Shortell at quarterback?

COACH FERENTZ: One guy's a really strong runner, I mean really strong runner, and the other guy's more of a thrower. But they've had success with both. That's all I know. It's impressive what all of them have done but certainly—and Shortell came in against USC a year ago and did a great job. A little bit like Vandenberg showing up at Ohio State two years ago. I think it's a good parallel. It's a real credit to him. Certainly a credit to him.

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