Ferentz on Hawk Talk: Team Rejuvenating During Bye Week

Oct. 8, 2003

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz took questions from Hawkeye fans from across the country in his Wednesday night Hawk Talk radio broadcast at Carlos O’Kelly’s Mexican Cafe in Iowa City.

Hawk Talk, a 60 minute program this week hosted by Gary Dolphin, is broadcast live to more than 40 Hawkeye Radio Network stations across the state and on hawkeyesports.com worldwide.

Here is some of what the coach had to say.

(on his plans through the bye-week) “We’re staying in the routine. We’re just shortening everything down and not having near as much contact. Basically, we want to give these guys a chance to get their legs back underneath them and give them a bit of a break. They’ve put in a tough six weeks so far and two weeks of camp, so they need a mental break right now as well as a physical one.”

(on the Big Ten Conference races) “There are a lot of good teams in our conference right now, and a lot of teams that I’m confident could beat each other. There are very few that are off the charts, if you will. I think it’s going to be an interesting next several weeks of football. It’s going to be fun for us to just watch everybody else beat each other up a little bit. The conference looks really strong, and it should be a real interesting race.”

(on Ohio State University) “We obviously have great respect for them. I think they’re an outstanding team with excellent defense and special teams. But the big difference is that they have an experienced offense this year. The one thing Ohio State has is depth. They’ve always had great talent. They’ve got great leadership too. It’s going to be a challenge for us to go into Columbus and take them on. We’re going to be playing a really tough football team.”

(on keeping focused in front of an OSU crowd) “The biggest issue is crowd noise, and that’s typical when you play in the Big Ten. Most of the stadiums we go into are very vibrant and very loud, and the best thing we can do is go in with great focus. Hopefully, we can get off to a positive start at the beginning of the game and take some life out of some of the fans. Not only is the team we’re going to face a great challenge, but the atmosphere and environment are too. But that’s what makes this thing enjoyable and fun.”

(on last Saturday’s Michigan game) “My feeling even being down 14-nothing, it wasn’t too great. It wasn’t peachy out there. We got off to a rough start offensively and defensively against an explosive, veteran team like Michigan. That’s not a great situation to be in. Fortunately, our guys stuck together, believed in themselves and fought their way back into it. I think we outscored them 30-6 after we had fallen behind. It’s a real tribute to the hearts of our young people. They stuck through it and did a fantastic job.”