Nov. 15, 2008
Head Coach Kirk Ferentz
COACH FERENTZ: Just real quickly, we’re thrilled to get the victory today. Obviously it was a hard fought football game, and credit to Purdue. As we thought they would, they showed up and played an extremely competitive football game. They played tough.
Coach Tiller has done an outstanding job at Purdue over the last 12 years. I think he’s done one of the greatest coaching jobs at least that I’ve witnessed in our conference, and just a tremendous guy. He’s been great for the institution, great for our conference, and we’re all going to miss him, certainly wish him the best.
But today was a typical Joe Tiller Purdue football game. It was a tough ballgame, went right down to the last play, and certainly we’re thrilled to get the victory. It was hard fought. Extremely happy for our seniors first and foremost. They’ve done a wonderful job this year, not just this year but the years they have been on campus. Each guy played a significant role in any success that we’ve had. Very, very happy for them, happy for our entire football team.
And the other thing, it’s great to win a close game again. That’s back to back close ballgames coming down to the final play of the game, and I think that’s a real positive. That will serve us well. Just a great game, happy with the outcome certainly, and we’ll move on to next week when tomorrow comes.
Q. Talk about Shonn Green’s play today. Does he continue to amaze you?
COACH FERENTZ: I think I’m beyond that part of it. The guy just plays hard each and every week. The credit certainly a lot of guys are involved in that, but Shonn has been a real catalyst for our football team. The determination and toughness that he plays with, that’s just so impressive. And again, I’m not into the national awards, but if you look at players playing football, I can’t imagine there are many guys playing that position better than Shonn Green across the country. That’s a real credit to him. It’s a great story, also, after being out of school this past year, to work back the way he has.
And probably the best part about him, it’s not about him. He’s all about team, a delightful guy to be around on a day to day basis, and he just cares an awful lot about his teammates.
Q. You guys opened the game running the ball nine straight plays. Was that the plan, was it audible, just something you saw?
COACH FERENTZ: No, it wasn’t necessarily the plan. We always script things out, but sometimes you go off the script a little bit. Things were just clicking and we stuck with it a little bit, and then came in and finished it off, too. Jewel was great. There’s a young guy who’s really done a nice job, and when he’s called upon he does a good job and certainly he did a good job on that kick return. That’s just kind of the way things unfolded, and we had it going, so why not stick with it.
Q. As much as you were running the ball, still, Purdue had an advantage of 19 and a half minutes to 10 and a half in the first half.
COACH FERENTZ: It was just some strange circumstances, and we ended up turning it over I think it was our third possession. A lot of little things that took place today that I wasn’t sure we would be able to overcome, a couple missed PATs, the turnovers, we had two turnovers, and in the third quarter we had the wind to our back but really only had three points to show for it and really not much possession time; I don’t think much of an edge there.
Those little things that were going on during the course of the game, you stay concerned about it, and fortunately we were able to overcome some of those kinds of things that maybe could catch up to you. That’s just one more part of the game that was a little bit strange, but we ended up coming out okay.
Q. On that final drive, when Purdue is starting to it seems like they’ve got the momentum and really everything is going their way, Mitch comes through and makes a big play?
COACH FERENTZ: Yeah, somehow, some way somebody comes up and makes a play. Pat made the big one down there when the ball was up in the air. Mitch King, big surprise and finally landed it. It was tough getting through there, a little bit of a gauntlet, some limbs and things like that out there in the open. But Mitch kept digging.
It’s a real credit to him. He could have gotten frustrated there but kept digging. That was a huge play, also. Anytime you get the sack, and I think they had to burn the time out at that point, but anyway, that was a big, big play, got them off schedule.
When they get that offense going, when they’re clicking, it’s fun to watch if you’re not playing against them. But they get it going pretty well.
Q. Did you have to reintroduce yourself to Mitch when he showed up with a haircut like that?
COACH FERENTZ: Yeah, he caught me off guard on Tuesday when he came into the team meeting. Sunday and Monday he had the locks flowing. I thought it was his brother Vince actually that walked in when I saw him. He does look a lot like his brother that way. He kind of looked like he did when he was a freshman except his neck is a little bit bigger. Yeah, you never know what’s going through his mind.
Q. You mentioned the things that you overcame to win. Is this an ugly win?
COACH FERENTZ: I don’t know what that means. Wins are beautiful, no matter how you get them. We’ve had some tough losses, some close losses, I think four to be exact, and to win a close game, to me it looked pretty good. And I think, again, it’s going to be something that helps us down the road. That’s part of the process.
We talked a little bit last week, to me learning how to win close ball games, there’s a process to it, and hopefully this is something that will serve us well as we move along.
Q. Why has it shifted? Why are the close games now going your way?
COACH FERENTZ: I can’t answer that. It wasn’t like we played totally clean today, but we played clean enough and made plays when we had to. That’s football. It would be wonderful if everything goes the way you draw it up or the way you script it, but it doesn’t typically. You have to overcome some bumps, and fortunately our team was able to do that today in all regards.
Q. You’ve talked all year long about how well this team has practiced during the week. Next week basically comes down to potentially a January Bowl game versus somewhere else. Do you expect anything different this week?
COACH FERENTZ: No, I’ll have it to you, to tie that in with this past week, I thought we probably had as good a week of preparation this past week as we’ve had you’re always concerned about that. I think I was asked that on Tuesday. Can you handle success, how do you handle adversity we’ve had the last two weeks, and the guys did a good job. Coming off a big win, I thought we had a good week at practice. It didn’t show up totally on the field today.
But Purdue had a lot to do with that, too. I think they probably had a good week, too. They were ready to go. So that’s part of the deal. All I know right now is we’ve got seven in the bank. That’s great. We’re really happy about that. That says something. We haven’t been in that neighborhood for a little while, so that’s significant. Next week we’ve got a chance for eight. The one thing I’ve figured out is usually you get what you deserve, you get what you’ve got coming to you, and if we can take care of business this week, it’ll be great to get eight and then we’ll let all the rest of that stuff shake itself out and it will work out the way it’s supposed to I’m sure.
Q. Most people describe Shonn as a power back, they see his frame, they see his strength, they see his size, but power backs don’t usually run for 75 yard touchdowns.
COACH FERENTZ: I think we’ve seen in earlier games, too, this guy can go. Shonn can go; he can run. But he is; he is powerful when he runs, and both of his touchdown runs today not many runs come easy, and neither of those did. And then he ran through tackles to do that, and then to come out of it the way he did is very, very impressive.
The thing that jumps out at me is he is a physical player, he is a powerful player, he is explosive, but his determination when he plays and again, you talk about some of the outstanding players that we’ve had come through here, that’s to me the characteristic that’s kind of common amongst all of them, the energy and the determination they play with. Personalities are certainly different, but to me that’s a common denominator between a lot of the great guys that we’ve had come through here.
Q. His demeanor seems to be kind of mellow. Some of the Purdue players said he’s the first good athlete to play that doesn’t talk on the field. He just kind of walks off.
COACH FERENTZ: It’s just my preference, but I think that’s extremely commendable. I’m not judging other folks, but I really respect the way he carries himself. He’s all about the team. It’s not about him. But when you perform like he does, you don’t need to draw attention to yourself. Bob Sanders isn’t a big, “hey, look at me” guy, either. It’s hard not to look at Bob. Any team he’s on, if you watch him play, you just kind of gravitate towards guys like that.
But I’m really proud of Shonn’s personality. I mean, that’s the way he is. He came that way, his mom and dad, that goes back a long, long ways. But his success that he’s enjoyed, it hasn’t changed him in the least.
Q. How nice was this for the seniors after the last few years when you guys weren’t able to win the final home game? How nice was that for the team?
COACH FERENTZ: It was important to us. We were 0 for 2 the last two times out for senior day, and that’s important for us to play well in Kinnick. That’s always been something that’s paramount to us program wise. Certainly you want to finish on a positive note, and we were able to do that today, finished out not quite a perfect year in Kinnick, but certainly we’ve improved in that regard.
And then to send our seniors out after coming up short two years in a row, that’s a good feeling, because these guys the last two groups deserved it, too, but these guys have done a great job.
Iowa-Post Game Player Quotes
WR Andy Brodell (SR)
on playing last game in Kinnick
“It really doesn’t hit you until the day is here. It’s been a quick five years here and it’s definitely a little sad going out there on the field today. But at the same time it was a great win for us and our seniors. It doesn’t really hit you until the game is over and it was a little bit emotional but it’s just a great way for us seniors to go out.”
On Shonn Greene
“He’s done it all year long and he’s been a big reason our offense has been so effective. Even with that being said, we still left a lot of things out there today. I guess the difference between today and earlier in the season is that we were able to overcome it and get the win. Shonn has been doing a great job for us and he’s been doing it all year long. We expect what we get from him, that’s for sure.”
On blocking for Greene’s 75-yard TD run
“It’s a part of the game that gets overlooked a lot. We feel like we have a great chance if we can get into the secondary and it doesn’t have to be a kill-shot or anything like that. It’s one of those situations where if you can just disrupt the defensive back it might be enough for him to break loose for a long run; that was the case there. I think Derrell (Johnson-Koulianos) had a nice block and I was able to get on one of the safeties and that sprung him loose.”
On lack of passing
“That was kind of the way we expected to win the game today. Obviously, our strength is running the ball and that opens up things in the passing game. But with the weather being the way it was and with the wind it just kind of shook out that way that we didn’t end up throwing the ball a whole lot. I think that we kind planned on running the ball a little more than throwing it today and we did just enough to win.”
MLB Pat Angerer (JR)
On winning seven games
“We put in a lot of work and a lot of time in order to get to this point and we’re not finished yet. We have a big game next week and each game from now on is more important than the other.”
“That was lucky. I was in the right place at the right time, I guess. It helps to be a little lucky sometimes.”
On Shonn Greene
“I remember his freshman year when he came in and was behind Albert (Young) and Damian (Sims) and I don’t want to (discredit) those guys, but I think he was our best running back then when he was younger. It’s just exciting to finally watch him running and playing and have the success that he’s having.”
“We haven’t been playing as smoothly these past couple of games. We’ve made a lot of mistakes, but when it’s counted we’ve been there and we’ve capitalized.”
DL Adrian Clayborn (SO)
On level of play
“I think it was good that we proved we can play. Coach Ferentz kept telling us that good teams play good every week, and we got the victory.”
“We did what a defense should do. We come in when they need us and we make the plays.”
On Shonn Greene
“He’s an animal. He’s been doing it for 11 games and I shouldn’t be surprised, but he keeps surprising me every time. It’s a lot of fun watching him perform.”
On Curtis Painter
“They said his arm was messed up so I didn’t expect too much but he came in and made some good plays, so it was good for them.”
On holding them to a field goal
“Whenever we can stop them from getting a touchdown it’s always a plus to hold them to three points.”
RB Shonn Greene (JR)
On his 75yd run
“Yeah, that’s our jab play right there and I had one guy to beat, that’s the safety, I made a move and it was open green from there.”
On his speed
“I did alright right there, it wasn’t too fast, it was alright though.”
On the hit on his second TD
“Yeah, he was flying down like all game so I had to give him a little something, slow him down a little bit.”
On 200 yards
“They [offensive line] did it again today. They did a great job picking guys up and then wide receivers blocking down field, so I give all the credit to those guys.”
On winning No. 7
“Yeah, that’s very good. That’s what we were harping on all week was to get win number seven. Now we have to get win number eight.”
Concern about post Penn State attitudes
“Yeah, you could kind of see it in the coaches, you know they were always harping on us that we have to flush this one down and don’t over look Purdue. I think there was a little bit of concern, but we came out and did a good job today.”
On ranking amongst Iowa’s all-time greats
“That’s great company to be with. Those guys were great football players when they were here and I’m honored to be in conversation with them.”
Purdue Head Coach Joe Tiller
On their defense against Greene
“I think they did a better job. We got off some blocks which we knew we had to do to make some plays. I thought their one counter play was the one play we didn’t have an answer for. Otherwise, I thought our guys did a better job surrounding the ball. He’s a real load. He’s a big, strong, powerful back who obviously has some speed too.”
On keeping his team up from game-to-game
“Every game there’s got to be a different message. It can’t be the same message every week. We’ve worked hard in trying to keep their spirits up and it’s working. I appreciate that.”
On Justin Siller’s play
“He looks like someone who’s only been a quarterback for three weeks. Today he went out and had a couple cute key plays and he’ll learn with experience that you can’t go out to the corner and dance against a good defense.”
On close games throughout his history at Kinnick Stadium
“It’d be nice to win one of them, but you know what? It ain’t gonna happen for me. I believe it will happen for the Boilermakers, but it won’t happen for me.”