Kirk Ferentz Postgame Quotes from Iowa-Arizona

September 19, 2009

Written by Jon Miller

COACH FERENTZ:  Certainly, we’re thrilled
with the victory. I thought a great, great team effort on all counts,
and, from the start of the game, our fans were just outstanding. 

They stayed in the game.  Just absolutely, outstanding environment
out there.

                It was a hard fought game.  We had tremendous
respect for Arizona, watching them on film, not only this year but last
year, and knew it would be a very, very tough game, hard-fought game
and that’s exactly what it was.

                So nothing came easy, and just really happy with
the way our guys stuck with it.  Played the full game and I thought
we really grew up a little bit in that second half, so that was great
to see.

                And then the other, a lot of statistics there
for you, but what he didn’t mention is Ed Podolak is the first career
honorary captain to go 2-0.  So we may be calling on him again soon,
or in the very, very near future but just really happy for ed. 
He did a great job talking with our team and being, with him today and
every one of our guys on the football team, they are thrilled to death
to have that weapon and thanks to Ed on that.
 

      Q. 
The goal line — inaudible.

      COACH
FERENTZ:  Sure did.  That seems to be our lucky goal line
down at that end of the field.  That was a great play there, individual
effort to throw them back.

      And
then to give them a field goal instead of the touchdown, outstanding
and all of those things are big, especially in a game like this where
you know it’s going to be close and it’s going to be competitive. 
And that’s exactly what we expected this game to go the entire distance
like it did.
 

      Q. 
You talked a lot about Tyler last week, but again, two picks today,
definitely had one, but his big play, especially the interception?

      COACH
FERENTZ:  Yeah, certainly he’s playing like a safety; you hope
a safety would.  I mentioned last week, we got two guys back that
are really experienced now and are really playing well together. 
They are kind of feeding off each other a little bit and that’s really
good to see so those guys are giving us some great play back there and
that’s a real positive for us.
 

      Q. 
At which end — they all certainly contributed big time.

      COACH
FERENTZ:  That’s been a big part of our success, early success
at least.  And unfortunately, and I mentioned this a couple weeks
ago, we just haven’t had much continuity because of our injury situation. 
Some years are like that and some aren’t, but all that being said, yeah,
Reiff stepped in there and did a great job.

      Allen
played an excellent football game, and he’s really been doing well since
last spring and all of the receivers I thought stepped up and made some
plays.

      When
guys go down, we lose guys, it’s going to be part of the season. 
And it’s just really pleasing, gratifying to see younger guys step up
and take advantage of that, and that was a big part of the game. 
I don’t mind telling you I was a little worried about our offensive
situation going into the game knowing that none of those three guys
were going to be able to play today.
 

      Q. 

Talk about them coming back, did you think
— inaudible.

      COACH
FERENTZ:  Yeah, I think they all had a chance, that’s the good
news, but the bad news is there’s no way to predict it right now. 
So just have to kind of wait and see.
 

      Q. 
It worked out this time, Adam that got the ball —

      COACH
FERENTZ:  Adam has been playing well.  I got excited about
Brandon last week for good reason, and he played well today.  But
Adam is really not much experienced than he is.  We have two guys
that really haven’t played very much, and I think probably what we saw
with Adam today, he’s benefitting from the experience a little bit. 

He’s gaining ground right now, and he really ran tough that one run
on that draw was just a great effort on his part.

      We
had some great individuals efforts out there today, McNutt’s catch,
may have had a couple of them, but one in particular.  It’s good
to see young guys doing some things like that.
 

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      Q. 
When you call a player like that on third and 23, do you really have
a sense that it can work like that?

      COACH
FERENTZ:  It’s kind of like they came skirting out of there, too,
their draw play.  But you hope that, when it’s 23, no, realistically,
no, the odds are against you, and there are not a lot of great calls
on third and 23, unfortunately.  That’s about as good as anything. 

You know, the guys got him started and it wasn’t clean even from the
beginning but a great, great effort.
 

      Q. 
Missing those three guys and still you dominate the time of possession,
38-22; how do you explain that?

      COACH
FERENTZ:  It’s twofold.  First of all, our defense did a great
job.  They got a lot of three-and-outs, or close to.  And we
got off to a great start in that first half.  We really had some
good rhythm going outside of the one play there.

      And
again, shifting back to the fourth quarter, I think maybe what happened
in the first half caught up to them a little in the fourth quarter. 
Their defense, they might have fatigued a little bit for good reason;
they were on the field for a long time.

      Our
guys, I thought they grew in that second half, everybody did, but that
was really good to see.
 

      Q. 
Talk about that drive in the fourth quarter, a couple big thirds downs —

      COACH
FERENTZ:  That was really great to see, and, with the way the game
is going, it was tight, obviously.  It was good to see us get some
points off a punt return, we got points off the pick.  You like
to get touchdowns there but we come away with six points, and every
point is significant in a game like this.

      And
the drive you are alluding to, I thought that was really good to see. 
We converted some real big third downs, tough third downs, and if we
are going to have a winning football team this year, third down is big. 
We did a much better job a year ago on that than we did the year before
and obviously last week a lot better than week one.  At least I
think we are growing right now and improving a little bit.
 

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      Q. 
How important was it from a mental — the situation after the first out
when they had the big run —

      COACH
FERENTZ:  When you can hold teams to a field goal and when they
have the ball down and tight like that, that’s — it’s a victory. 

It’s not what you want, but it’s a victory.

      We
would just assume they had not got down in there, but it helps. 
I think it gives everybody a little confidence, and, our defense is
making it tough to score touchdowns, which is really good to see.
 

      Q. 
Your players today — are they injured in practice or what’s happened?

      COACH
FERENTZ:  You know Brian’s situation was ongoing or had been ongoing. 
Tony had someone fall on him and DJK played — he’s had nagging — nagging
issue problems.  So he walked in the building Sunday feeling worse,
so just kind of, you know, things respond, they don’t respond so we
have got to right it out.
 

      Q. 
Any chance all three of those guys could play next week?

      COACH
FERENTZ:  There’s a chance; I don’t know if it’s a good chance. 
I hope it’s a good chance.
 

      Q. 
What does a win like this mean for you guys starting off 3-0?

      COACH
FERENTZ:  Well, this whole season is going to be tough.  There’s
no easy segment and I think Norm Price said it best back in August. 

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He said, “You know, you can look at our schedule, our away portion
of the schedule, how difficult that is.  If you look at the month
of September, UNI, they have every reason to come in here and play strong,
Iowa State/Iowa is always a big battle; Arizona with Stoops coming back
here, and more importantly having a very good football team, a team
that really grew last year.  And now we get to go to Penn State
where it’s going to be no walk in the park for sure.

      So
you look at those four September games, I’m just glad we are coming
out ahead three out of three so far, and you know, next week will probably
be the toughest one out of all four of them so just see where we are
at then.
 

      Q. 
Inaudible.

      COACH
FERENTZ:  I just mentioned, I think they are aware of it, I think
we are playing a Big Ten team next week.  So I think they all knew
what I was talking about, and we will worry about those guys sometime
tomorrow, 5:00, somewhere in that ballpark.  Right now we’ll just
enjoy this one right now, maybe dissect it tomorrow and then we’ll move
on.
 

      Q. 
Bringing in the defensive backs —

      COACH
FERENTZ:  We feel like we have a decent group right now but we
have had — Prater was gone for two weeks, Castillo last week, so it’s
limited our choices, our options.  And Greg Castillo was out again,
he was the fourth guy that was missing.  I think he’s got a chance
but his thing has not responded.

      So
maybe we’ll get him back next week.  But yeah we have a little
bit more flexibility hopefully if we can keep everybody healthy and
on the field.
 

      Q. 
I know the defense had a couple sacks coming in today but what is it
like especially seeing Clayborn and a lot of backs putting pressure
on the quarterback?

      COACH
FERENTZ:  We have played okay on defense going into this game. 
Just can’t say we have been real thrilled.  You know, with us,
early season tends to be that way in general.

      I
think we are all a little disappointed maybe that we weren’t playing
better but I thought this week we practiced better, and I thought certainly
today we looked a little bit more like what we hoped to see out of an
Iowa defense.  It starts up front, when our guys are playing well
up front that really helps us.

      We
have been very fortunate and been able to enjoy some pretty good play
up front the last couple of years, and today looked like we were back
maybe playing the way we hope to play.  That’s a big help. 

I thought Adrian was really working hard, and that’s great to see. 

      Q. 
What does it say about the character
of your team missing those guys?

      COACH
FERENTZ:  I think our guys understand that’s part of a football
season, and you know, last year, offensively, Seth Olsen, we missed
him three or four games, and outside of that we sailed right through
it.   Some years are like that and some are the exact opposite. 
You have no control over those things.  It’s kind of like an officials
call or something else.

      You’ve
just got to play through it and I think we have got guys that know,
they are willing to jump in there, they have been paying attention,
Riley Reiff comes to mind; the guy red-shirted last year, and the exciting
part is he’s going to be a lot better football player two years from
now.

      But
I tell you what, he’s out there competing against good players. 
That guy he played against today was a good football player, all Pac 10
player and that’s great, really exciting, and this is an experience
that’s going to help us down the road and help us hopefully get more
guys coming back in instead of leaving a challenge there.
 

      Q. 
How big was the turning point with the goal line —

      COACH
FERENTZ:  That hurt.  We have great respect for their whole
team.  Greg is one heck of a football player, you saw that, he’s
a very dangerous back.  Any time you look like you’re in a bad
situation or the ball is down inside the two or whatever, if you can
hold them to a field goal, especially early in the game that’s a real
positive, and I think our guys had a lot of confidence, at half-time
we had given up a field goal offensively and gave them one on offense
up and until the end we played pretty salty defense.

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