Oct. 3, 2006
- ESPN GameDay Visits Iowa City: The Pictures
- Hawkeye All-Access
- Order the “Video Season Ticket”
- Make a (fashion) Statement!
- Hy-Vee Cy-Hawk Series
IOWA CITY — “The work begins today,” Kirk Ferentz, head coach of the nationally ranked University of Iowa football team, said twice Tuesday during his weekly visit with the area media.
The Hawkeyes, stinging from their loss last Saturday to top-ranked Ohio State, entertain Purdue Saturday at historic Kinnick Stadium. Kickoff for Iowa’s 2006 Homecoming event is set for shortly after 11 a.m.
Ferentz said his squad lost to a very good football team last Saturday night in what was the most electric environment he can recall in 17 years of working at the UI.
“I can’t remember better,” he said. “Our fans were outstanding. We would have loved to delivered a different outcome and sent everyone home happier, but we played a very, very good football team that brought their `A’ game.”
Ferentz said after the Hawkeyes’ first loss in five games last Saturday that he saw progress. Iowa’s head coach echoed those sentiments again Tuesday.
“We continue to make progress, to move forward,” said Ferentz. “But we have some work to do and things to clean up. But we worked hard and played hard from start to finish and that’s always a good sign.”
Ferentz said the Hawkeyes are bracing for another full-court press from the Purdue offense. Talent at the skill positions, talent at quarterback and experience up front is a very dangerous combination.
“They’re explosive…as you’d expect a Purdue team to be,” he said.
Defensively, the Boilermakers’ statistics don’t cause great concern, but Ferentz said he sees that unit gaining confidence.
“Particularly in the secondary. They’re gaining confidence and did so in the second half against a very good Notre Dame team,” Ferentz said. “As a unit, they’re a little young than what you’d normally see.”
Ferentz repeated what he said a week ago. “We knew going into last week’s game that one team was going to be 5-0 and the other would be 4-1, but, most importantly, there was a lot of football left to be played,” he noted.
“I can’t remember better. Our fans were outstanding. We would have loved to delivered a different outcome and sent everyone home happier, but we played a very, very good football team that brought their `A’ game.”
Kirk Ferentz on the environment inside Kinnick Stadium last Saturday night
“And that’s where we are today. We have lots of football left to play and we need to go about the business of putting last week behind us – which we’ve already done – and get on with the business of improving each week.”
The UI is celebrating Homecoming 2006 on campus this week and the UI Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is staging 50-year and 25-year reunions for Hawkeye squads that advanced to the Rose Bowl. As part of the celebration, the UI will Hall of Fame coaches Forest Evashevski and Hayden Fry, and former UI and NFL coach Jerry Burns.
“Could be a good week to get some advice. We’ll have some pretty good football minds on campus later this week,” Ferentz said with a grin.
Ferentz said he received some good news and bad news yesterday with respect to injuries. Offensive lineman Rafael Eubanks is expected to practice this week and play Saturday. Defensive back Devan Moylan, however, will likely be sidelined until late November at the earliest.
Ferentz said safety Marcus Paschal is, at best, “iffy.” “I really can’t see him coming back this week,” he said.