Sept. 16, 2005
- Game-Day Parking and Road Construction Information
- 2005 Hawkeye Huddles
- Follow the Renovation of Kinnick!
- The Schedule: 2005 and Beyond
The biggest question facing Iowa is how to overcome the disconcerting 23-3 loss at Iowa State last week, while hosting an admittedly tough Division I-AA intrastate rival, Northern Iowa, on Saturday. But the players and coach involved with that process seem to think the formula is pretty simple.
The first step for the Hawkeyes (No. 21 ESPN/USA Today; No. 22 AP) is to diagnose and treat the problems that plagued the team.
“I think the problems we had Saturday were obvious: turnovers and penalties,” Head Coach Kirk Ferentz said. “The penalties were very critical, then just fundamental play. There are two factors there. You have to give credit to Iowa State for the job they did Saturday, and secondly, it’s obviously concerning that we didn’t do a better job executing.
“We stunk,” the coach added. “We just played poorly.”
Step two is overcoming the problems.
“It’s easier said than done,” Ferentz said. “We have that 24-hour rule, which in theory is a good thing, but anytime you lose a game – and I can’t remember not feeling this way – losses tend to linger, that’s just the way it is. I think that’s natural.
“That being said, we’ve got to move ahead because if we don’t, we really run the risk of compounding a problem. It’s not so much losing. We’ve been involved with losses like this. It’s not losing, so much as it’s how you played.”
Having rebounded despite being in the early-season loss column before, in 2002 following a loss to the Cyclones and in 2004 following losses to Arizona State and Michigan, doesn’t seem to help matters much.
“Hopefully we move on, and that’s a good thing about the history,” Ferentz said. “I guess we’ve had practice having to rebound. The question is not what we are going to do with this one – it’s not just this week – but for the rest of the season. What are we going to do with it? That’s what we have to ask ourselves.”
“I think for the most part the team responds well to bad loss, but just because we’ve done it before doesn’t mean that we’re going to do it again. We have to focus and have a good week of practice.”
Wide Receiver Ed Hinkel
For seniors Ed Hinkel and Chad Greenway, the rest of the season comes down to putting a personal mark on this year’s team.
“Just because we’ve done it before doesn’t mean that we’re going to this year,” Hinkel, a wide receiver, said. “I think for the most part the team responds well to bad loss, but just because we’ve done it before doesn’t mean that we’re going to do it again. We have to focus and have a good week of practice.”
Greenway seems to be the team’s leader in taking bad information and turning it into a positive. Last year when a national magazine called him overrated, that particular article found its way into his locker and the South Dakota-native used it as motivation.
“It’s just the fact that you can turn something against you and turn it into something that’s positive,” the linebacker said. “I’ve played poorly and you’ve got to build off that and go out and work hard.
“We have nine weeks left to determine how this season is going to go, and this loss isn’t going to affect us those next weeks, hopefully,” Greenway added.
And that seems to be the message from Ferentz to his players this week. When the coach gathered his team together on Sunday, he encouraged them not to see a possible Bowl Championship Series bid still in the future but a victory at home against UNI.
“We didn’t talk big picture at all,” he said. “I think right now it’s better to look small picture.
“(The loss) means, very simply, we’re 1-1,” Ferentz added. “All I know is that it’s good to play well every week because that gives you a chance to win. For whatever reason, we didn’t do it. That’s what we’ve got to try and focus on this week and do the same for the next nine weeks. Just try to keep it simple, because that’s really how it is.”
Barry Pump, hawkeyesports.com