Kirk: A Tough Challenge

Sept. 20, 2005

University of Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz sat down with local, regional and national media Tuesday and stated the obvious: Winning in Columbus, Ohio – for any team, any year – is a significant accomplishment. The Hawkeyes have that opportunity Saturday at 11 a.m. when they square off against Ohio State in this year’s Big Ten Conference opener for both teams.

“They don’t appear to have any weaknesses. We’re also playing at Columbus, and that’s always a great challenge,” Ferentz said during his opening remarks.

Iowa’s head coach said he can’t remember a “bad” Ohio State team and this team falls into the “good team” category.

“Extremely talented. Extremely experienced. Just a typical Ohio State football team,” said Ferentz.

“We’re seeing some real challenges on offense and on defense,” he continued. “They’re also solid on special teams. They’ve replaced (placekicker Mike) Nugent with another talented player.”

Ferentz said the Ohio State roster is filled with student-athletes who can change the complexion of a game.

Iowa’s head coach said he’s pleased with the progress of his offense, particularly the running game.

“We’re blocking a little better in the running game than a year ago. We’re a little more veteran than we were a year ago and that’s one reason why we’ve had some success. We’re doing some good things and we need it to continue if we’re going to have some success,” said Ferentz.

Ferentz said Ohio Stadium is a tough place to play for lots of reasons including the fact that they usually have a pretty good team.

“You show up there and there’s usually a pretty good team if not a very good team waiting for you. They always have good talent,” said Ferentz. will provide a deeper review of Ferentz’s weekly visit with the media later today.

Iowa returns to historic Kinnick Stadium next week when the Hawkeyes entertain Illinois in this year’s Homecoming game. That contest will be televised live by ESPN Plus.