Ferentz expects lively crowd, environment at Iowa State

Sept. 8, 2009

Coach Ferentz press conference (Sept. 8) | Complete Ferentz press confernece transcript

IOWA CITY, Iowa — There is certain to be debate on which three Big Ten Conference stadiums offer the greatest home field environment. What isn’t disputable, according to University of Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz, is that Iowa State’s Jack Trice Stadium would give any Big Ten venue a run for its money.

“If you take the top three (in the Big Ten), where you have to go in and say, `Boy, this is going to be tough. We better be really on our game,’ Ferentz said at his weekly press conference Tuesday inside the players auditorium of the Hayden Fry Football Complex. “When we show up there, I know it’s a tough stadium to play in. It’s every bit as tough as going anywhere else in our conference or the toughest places in our conference.”

Iowa State hosts Iowa on Saturday with an 11 a.m. kickoff from Ames. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Net.

Hawkeye linebacker Pat Angerer said that “the closest to (an environment like) Kinnick you can get is Iowa-Iowa State” in Ames.

Iowa tight end Tony Moeaki is ready for deafening noise levels.

“It’s a very tough place to play,” Moeaki said. “It’s the Cy-Hawk game and it’s just as loud as any place I’ve ever played.”

The Hawkeyes have won four of the last six meetings between the schools, including a 17-5 decision in 2008. Iowa’s last win in Ames was 40-21 in 2003.

Both Iowa and Iowa State enter the second week of the regular season with 1-0 records. The Hawkeyes have already been victorious against one in-state rival when they rallied from 10 points down in the second half to defeat Northern Iowa, 17-16. Iowa State scored the final 10 points of the game to defeat North Dakota State, 34-17, and snap a 10-game losing streak.

It’s not that this rivalry needs any added incentive, because everyone from Ames to Iowa City knows that 2-0 on Saturday will look a lot better than 1-1.

“It’s been a tough game each and every time out there. It’s a tough rivalry,” Ferentz said. “Anyone who has been up to Ames knows that it’s a tough place to take a football team to play. I learned that back in 1981 (a 23-12 Iowa State victory). It’s always a lively crowd, a lively environment. “

Since Iowa State’s Paul Rhoads served as a head coach for the first time last week, the Iowa staff doesn’t have an abundance of information or game film on the Cyclone tendencies.

“The only way it could be worse is this could be our first game and then it would be that much tougher,” Ferentz said. “We have at least a limited amount of plays to look at. Iowa State has a very experienced football team coming back. We’ve only seen one exposure of them this year. They have a lot of returning players, an excellent coaching staff and they played very, very well in their opener. To us they look like a much-improved team from a year ago and we know we’ll have our hands full.”

The Hawkeyes will retain the four captains who served in that capacity against Northern Iowa — senior linebackers Angerer and A.J. Edds, Moeaki and junior quarterback Ricky Stanzi.

UI senior free safety Joe Conklin spent two seasons at Iowa State — one as a redshirt and one while injured. He is listed as the Hawkeye backup this week behind Brett Greenwood.

“This rivalry has been real strong,” Conklin said. “Everyone knows this is going to be a dog-fight.”