Kirk Talks Penn State

Oct. 19, 2004

Kirk Ferentz met the media Tuesday for their weekly chat and delivered a message one part good, one part not so.

The good included a review of a very strong performance by the Hawkeyes last week against Ohio State. “I don’t think we could have played much better,” he said. “The best thing is we continued to improve as a football team.”

Iowa and Penn State kick off at 11 a.m. Saturday inside Beaver Stadium on Homecoming Day for the Nittany Lions. The game will be televised live by ESPN2.

The “ups” also included progress on the rehab side of things for three Hawkeyes – strong safety Sean Considine, offensive lineman Ben Gates, and linebacker Mike Humpal. Ferentz said it’s too early to tell if the trio will be able to play this Saturday at Penn State.

The list of “downs” included the announcement that wide receiver Calvin Davis would undergo knee surgery today and would be sidelined for up to three months, and that the injury to Marques Simmons’ ankle is more significant than at first thought. Ferentz said Simmons could be on the shelf for several weeks.

“Those are the breaks of the game, unfortunately,” Ferentz said about his team’s incredible string of misfortune on the injury front.

Simmons was Iowa’s No. 4 running back heading into the season. Sam Brownlee, a sophomore from Emmetsburg, Iowa will likely get the starting nod as Iowa’s “Next Man In” mantra gets a serious test. Freshman Damian Simms will also probably see game action for the second straight game.

“We also have a very challenging game to play Saturday,” Ferentz added. Iowa’s coach reminded those in attendance that he said in August Penn State had the chance to break out from the pack because they lost a number of very close games a year ago while playing a good number of young players.

The Hawkeyes and Nittany Lions square off at 11 a.m. (Iowa time) from Beaver Stadium. The game will be televised live by ESPN2. You can listen to Kirk’s entire visit with the media by clicking HERE.