July 24, 2009
- 2009 Spring Camp Central
- New and renewal season ticket customers: Purchase yours online!
- Outback Bowl Central
- Iowa and the Big Ten Network
- Iowa Football wallpaper
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Playing in the Big Ten Conference is rugged enough. Playing at Penn State, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Ohio State makes it even tougher.
“It’s not going to be easy, it never is,” University of Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi said. “It’s the Big Ten and it’s going to be tough for everybody. We have a lot of road games, that’s kind of the theme this year. That’s just another challenge we’ll have to see to and be ready for.”
Iowa was 2-3 on the road last season, but when the Hawkeyes won, they won big: 45-9 at Indiana and 55-0 at Minnesota.
Head coaches and select players will convene in Chicago on July 27 and 28 for the annual Big Ten Football Media Days. Stanzi will not be in attendance, but he took time from summer training to share his thoughts with hawkeyesports.com.
“Everyone has a good attitude right now. We’re in the offseason and everyone is working out and everyone is watching film, throwing when we can,” Stanzi said. “There are good attitudes and when we go to camp, we’ll have to carry that over and then all the way through the season. It’s hard to tell right now where we will be at the beginning of the season or even in the middle of the season. You have to stay consistent with what we’re taught with our attitude and mental approach.”
Last season Iowa finished 9-4 overall, 5-3 in the Big Ten Conference. The Hawkeyes were 6-1 in games inside Kinnick Stadium and the difficult road slate this season will require that they once again hold serve at home.
“I don’t think there is anything different about it,” Stanzi said. “We’re playing the games whether we’re playing them in Kinnick or we’re playing them on the road. Obviously it’s harder on the road.”
“Last year’s experience definitely helped a lot. Just being out there on the field was something new for me. I learned a lot of things I could have only learned by playing the game. Hopefully that will be able to help me this year — being able to improve on certain situations that you can only come across in the games that are hard to replicate in practice. Getting that game experience has really been the big thing for me and not being complacent with it — wanting to get better, wanting to push forward and putting in the extra time.”
UI junior quarterback
Big things are expected from a more seasoned Stanzi, who led Iowa to a 31-10 victory over South Carolina in the Outback Bowl. The Hawkeyes finished the 2008 season with four consecutive wins and six victories in their last seven tries. The strong ending coincided with a maturing Stanzi, who completed 59.1-percent of his passes for 1,956 yards and 14 touchdowns.
“Last year’s experience definitely helped a lot,” Stanzi said. “Just being out there on the field was something new for me. I learned a lot of things I could have only learned by playing the game. Hopefully that will be able to help me this year — being able to improve on certain situations that you can only come across in the games that are hard to replicate in practice. Getting that game experience has really been the big thing for me and not being complacent with it — wanting to get better, wanting to push forward and putting in the extra time.”
During Iowa’s four-game winning streak, Stanzi completed 51 of 87 passes (58.6 percent) for 645 yards and five touchdowns.
“James and John have both done a great job of wanting to learn,” Stanzi said. “They have shown tons of improvement in the offseason, both physically and mentally with not only their skill, but in the weight room. It’s hard when you’re young to take what you learn that looks easy on the chalkboard and put it out there on the field. They’ve been doing a great job of that in `skills and drills’ and in the classroom.”
ESPN.com shined its spotlight on Stanzi on July 15, saying that the Hawkeye quarterback has a knack for rebounding following adversity, but limiting errors in the first place will be key during his junior season.
“Stanzi made his share of mistakes in his first year as the Hawkeyes’ starting quarterback, but he also showed impressive poise to bounce back virtually every time,” wrote Adam Rittenberg. “Iowa knows Stanzi can bounce back when things go south, but whether he can avoid difficult situations in the first place will largely shape how the team performs this season.”
To read the entire article on ESNP.com, posted Wednesday, July 15, Click HERE.
“I don’t think about (mistakes) during the game, I address them afterwards,” Stanzi said. “If they happen, they happen — it doesn’t mean the game’s over. We’ve seen that before where I can make mistakes and I know I can come back and still be able to play. Not getting down on yourself is part of it, because once you do that, you open the door to making more mistakes and to completely let the game get out of control.”
Iowa opens the season Saturday, Sept. 5, against Northern Iowa at Kinnick Stadium. The Panthers return 14 starters from a team that is ranked as high as No. 4 in the Football Championship Series and has reached the national playoffs three of the past four seasons. Iowa won the last meeting, 45-21, on Nov. 17, 2005.