Kirk on Ohio State

Oct. 17, 2003

Watch Kirk at this week’s press conference

It’s here…a year late, but for fans of Big Ten football, the game that didn’t get played a year ago — when both Iowa and Ohio State ran the table to 8-0 records in conference play and a pair of Bowl Championship Series games — will be played Saturday at 2:30 p.m. Iowa time inside Ohio Stadium on the campus of Ohio State University.

Here’s what UI Head Coach Kirk Ferentz had to say about the meeting of the No. 8 Buckeyes and No. 9 Hawkeyes.

“The bye week came at a much-needed time for our football team. We experienced a significant number of injuries during the first six games of the season and we were mentally spent after the Michigan victory. I think it was a productive break for us. We had a good week of preparation which was necessary. We will face another outstanding Ohio State football team.

“The Buckeyes have won 19 of their last 20 games. You don’t do that if you don’t have great mental toughness. We are counting on our defense to turn in a strong performance. Our special teams have to be at their best.

“The Buckeyes have excellent special teams with an outstanding kicker and an outstanding punter. From that standpoint — two very competitive special teams units going head-to-head — it will be a great match-up for fans to watch.

“Certainly, the trademark of the Ohio State football program is defense. Going against another outstanding Buckeye defense will be a great challenge for our offense. I think our guys are eager to accept that challenge. To win, we will have to be a very aggressive and opportunistic team.

“All in all, it should be a great Saturday afternoon of college football. We are all looking forward to the challenge.”