Ferentz on Penn State

Oct. 24, 2003

Listen to today’s Inside Iowa

The nationally ranked Iowa Hawkeyes return to historic Kinnick Stadium Saturday for an 11 a.m. date with Penn State that is sold out and will be televised live to a regional audience by ABC-TV.

On the surface, the game appears to pit two teams headed in different directions. That’s not the case, however, according to Kirk Ferentz. Here’s what Iowa’s head coach has to say about the Hawkeyes’ eighth game in 2003.

“Last week’s loss at Ohio State was a tough loss for our football team. I thought our guys played extremely hard, but the bottom line was simple: We made too many mistakes to win a game played on the road and against a quality opponent.

Iowa has won its last three games against Penn State. A fourth victory won’t come easy, according to Kirk Ferentz.

“Our objective this week in practice was to clean up the mistakes that were made at Ohio State and, like every week, improve.

“It’s been interesting to listen to the evaluations of this year’s Penn State team. To us, the Nittany Lions look like a solid football team that has lost four games to excellent opponents.

“If you look at Penn State from a statistical perspective, they are a good football team. If you look at them on tape, like all Penn State teams, they are very talented and athletic.

“The story of their season to date has been turnovers and a couple of costly breakdowns on special teams. I really think that is the key to tomorrow’s game. It will be a very evenly matched game, but the team that plays best on special teams and wins the turnover battle probably will have the best chance to win.

“Certainly we are looking forward to getting back on the field and pleased to be playing in Kinnick. The environment inside Kinnick Stadium all season – but particularly our last two games — has been outstanding. We are looking to get off to a fast start and getting the crowd into the game. That, too, could be a difference-maker…just like last week inside Ohio Stadium.”