Young: Seniors Need to Show the Way

Sept. 29, 2007

IOWA CITY — There’s still fight left in the dog, but the dog is limping.

“If there’s any good news right now, I have no reason to question the attitude or the work ethic of this team. It’s a solid group. There’s no magic. We just have to work hard, concentrate better and give ourselves a chance to win ballgames,” said Kirk Ferentz shortly after the Iowa Hawkeyes’ 38-20 loss to Indiana Saturday afternoon at historic Kinnick Stadium.

The Hawkeyes struggled with penalties against the Hoosiers. Struggled to be in sync. Struggled with their pass protection.

“Bottom line, we did too many things way too poorly in the first half to give ourselves any chance to win the ball game,” said Ferentz.

Iowa didn’t start fast despite good field position in the first quarter, had untimely penalties, forced a fumble that Indiana picked up and took in for a touchdown, missed two field goal attempts but still found itself racing into intermission trailing by 21-7 after Trey Stross reeled in a tipped 33-yard Hail Mary from Jake Christensen as time expired.

Iowa narrowed the gap when Christensen found tight end Brandon Myers on a 10-yard scoring pass with about seven minutes left to play in the third quarter. But – in a play that typified Iowa’s performance on Homecoming 2007 – the Hawkeyes failed to convert the point after and found itself trailing 21-13. Indiana responded with their own score five minutes later to keep the Hawkeyes out of serious striking distance.

“We’re not waving any white flags,” offered senior Albert Young, who collected a team-high 94 yards on 15 carries. He also had three receptions for another 44 yards.

“There’s a lot of football left to play. It will be a test of our determination and our will. It’ll be up to the seniors to lead the way.”
Albert Young

“We got to man up. It’s up to the seniors to show the leadership and I have no doubt that we will. You get what you deserve,” the Hawkeye running back added.

“We just dug ourselves too big a hole in the first half. Everything that could go wrong, did. But you have to make your breaks and capitalize and we aren’t.”

Asked if Christensen is rattled, Young took it straight on and didn’t flinch in doing so.

“He’s not rattled. That’s not it at all. We just need to protect him better. We have to give him some time. He’s pretty darn good and still growing.”

Christensen completed 24 of 42 attempts for 308 yards and three touchdowns. And, as Young noted, he was sacked nine times by an Indiana defense that didn’t toss anything at the Hawkeyes that was a surprise.

“There wasn’t anything they did on defense that came a surprise. We just didn’t execute. We just didn’t execute,” said Young.

“There’s a lot of football left to play. It will be a test of our determination and our will. It’ll be up to the seniors to lead the way.”

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