Ferentz: Put It Behind and Move Forward

Sept. 13, 2005

He didn’t want to say he told you so, but Kirk Ferentz hinted as much at his weekly meeting with the media today at the Hayden Fry Football Complex.

“Our focus right now is on our next opponent and not on rankings,” the coach said, adding that he’s never put much stock into pre-season polls and said the fact that Iowa is ranked ahead of the team it just lost to is evidence of the lack of validity of rankings.

“If it was me, there wouldn’t be any,” Ferentz said about pre-season rankings. “As I said a few weeks ago, they’re good for pre-season talk about college football and that’s good. I’d prefer to not see any until October. That’s when you start to get a feel about which teams are on the rise and which aren’t.”

Ferentz said it’s hard to put any game behind you but they need to. “Losses tend to linger. It’s natural,” he said.

“That’s not unhealthy. All things being said, however, you have to move ahead or you have real problems.”

Ferentz said the bottom line for last Saturday was simple. “They played a clean game and we didn’t,” he said. Ferentz also noted that it was the obvious – turnovers and penalties – that cost the Hawkeyes dearly.

“We flat out didn’t perform the way we’re capable and there were two factors involved: How we played and how they played,” said Ferentz. “I can’t control how they play, but I can influence how we play.”

Ferentz said the test for Iowa is how it handles the next nine weeks just as they were tested after Week 3 of last season. Iowa rebounded from a Week 4 loss at Michigan to win a share of the Big Ten Conference title.

“What’s important now is that we practice well and play well Saturday,” said Ferentz.

Iowa’s head coach said Drew Tate will play Saturday. Tate was not expected to practice on Tuesday, however.

“We’re in pretty good shape there, I think,” said Ferentz. “Unless something unexpected comes up today, I expect him on the field Wednesday and Saturday.”

hawkeyesprorts.com will provide a more in-depth review of Ferentz’s weekly visit with the media later today.