Sept. 27, 2009
Recap | Box Score | Notes | Photo Gallery 1 | Photo Gallery 2 Head Coach Kirk Ferentz
A: First of all, I thought it was a really hard-fought football game by both teams. Penn State really played hard. We knew would. They always do. I’m just really proud of our football team- all of our coaches are. The effort that our guys played with, the determination, was really outstanding and the team really proved to be a very resilient bunch tonight cause there was nothing easy about what happened out there. So I’m just really happy. It took some great individual efforts. Phil just mentioned Adrian Clayborn’s. We haven’t blocked many punts… what’s it been, five years since we’ve blocked a punt and it’s just a phenomenal effort. I’ve never seen a play like that by a big guy like that and it gave us a spark, but the bottom line is our guys fought hard for the full 60. If you’re going to have a chance to beat Penn State, that better be what you plan on doing.
Q: The defense, outside that first play of the game, they were pretty remarkable, right?
A: Good game plan on Penn State’s part. They had us on that thing and you give up a big play, which you hate to do, it’s tough to win giving up big plays especially against good teams. Then they drove it on that next series, got a field goal and after that we settled down and started playing pretty well. I thought we got a good effort from everybody, but again the guys up front were doing some good things and that’s really important for us when we’re playing good defense.
Q: Have you ever seen a defensive fourth quarter like that?
A: It’s probably been awhile, but that really was something to see. Our guys really knuckled down, they started getting confidence. I couldn’t see Pat’s play on the fumble, but I just talked to my son on the phone real quickly and he said it was a great effort by Pat, not only to cause the fumble… so that’s what you hope in a game like this that your veteran guys, the guys that have been experienced. You hope they’re going to step up and do something to help the cause. You’ve got (Adrian) Clayborn, (Pat) Angerer, (Broderick) Binns… right on down the line. I thought that really helped us out.
Q: You’re not supposed to get a block on punt safe, how important is it for the guy to keep going hard no matter what the play was?
A: That’s something all of our coaches do a good job of, I think coaching and Lester (Erb) and Darrell (Wilson) make a great team on our special teams and that’s something that we coach. Other teams do it, too. It’s not like it’s unique to us, but our guys are pretty coachable and Adrian (Clayborn) takes that to heart. He got a chance there at one and did a great job.
Q: How important was winning the field position battle today?
A: Real big. We thought it would be coming in. I go back to when we came up here in 2000 and Jason Baker did a heck of a job punting for us and that was a big part of that game. Again, we’re in a tough environment here, we’re going against a real good football team, field position is going to be big and special teams is going to be big. We talked about that from day one. It’s not like we invented anything. It’s just common sense in a game like this. Special teams better come through for you, and fortunately we’ve got some guys doing a good job there. The only thing we were hoping is that it would be a 60 minute game, and after the first 10 minutes or so, I wasn’t quite sure it was going to be that. Our guys hung around and kept playing. That’s a real credit to them.
Q: Two years in a row, you’ve come back from two score deficits against this team in the second half. Where does that come from?
A: That’s our players. They’re a resilient bunch, they’re a real resilient bunch and I think they’ve got a lot of determination. They’ve been a fun group to coach this season. It’s early in the season, but this has been a fun group to coach already, going back to January just being a round them in the building. They care about each other and they believe in each other. When that starts to happen, some good things can happen for sure.
Q: This sets the Big Ten schedule with some home games now…
A: Yeah, that’s the only good thing. Somebody said whatever it is, it’s like 9 out of 11 or 10 out of 11. We have this tradition of starting on the road. I did make a joking comment about well at least you know you’ve got four out of seven at home after that first one, so we’ve got an edge there. We’re a long way from the finish line, but at least it’s good to get off on a positive start. I’m really happy about that and it’s always good to win on the road and it’s a big deal and we’ve got two under our belts right now, so that’s a good thing to see.
Q: And on a big stage…
A: That’s even better. It was a great football environment. We knew it would be. We asked our team to enjoy that, too. This is pretty rare, pretty unique, you know. If you like football at all, that’s got to get your blood going a little bit when you walk in that stadium. It’s got to be a lot of fun to be on that other sideline, too. It’s a great, great support that they have. This is what football’s all about. It’s a great environment. It’s a great football crowd, great football tradition here. If that doesn’t bring the best out of you, then maybe you shouldn’t be playing.
#1 Daniel Murray
Jr., Place Kicker
Q: Have you ever seen defense like that?
A: No, the defense was spectacular and I don’t know how Adrian (Clayborn) blocked it on punt safe. Somehow he blocked it and was trucking down field pretty fast. The defense played outstanding today. They kept us in the game. Our offense is going to get better each week. On special teams, I missed that field goal and that’s unacceptable for me. We’ll get better in practice this week and get ready for Arkansas.
Q: Did you feel like Iowa’s offensive and defensive lines started to control the game?A: I think our lines did kind of step it up a little bit. I think we’re a pretty fit team so I think we’re pretty good overall. I think they’re going to continue to get better and that’s all we can ask for.
#5 Ryan Donahue
Q: How much pride did you take in pinning Penn State in bad field position and switch momentum with your punts?A: It fires me up and I tried to fire the defense up after that. I know it was an amazing feeling. I know we had to pin them back. The gunners did a great job of getting down there. It’s exactly what we’re trying to do every time we pooch punt. It worked out and it couldn’t be any better.
Q: Are you a weapon on offense?
A: I do my job. I pin them back. The defense’s job was to get them back farther and into the safety, so credit to them.
Q: With how well each defense was playing, did you feel each punt you had was more and more important?
A: Absolutely. I know on that last one they put two returners back and I knew that they were going to try to return. So, I tried to put some hang time under there and make them fair catch it and he did.
#12 Ricky Stanzi
Q: How much of a role did the special teams play in the game?
A: You love to have special teams on the road, especially a punt block, that’s huge. When you can get plays like that it takes a lot of pressure off. I didn’t expect anything to happen in a football game but we have the guys who can make plays like that.
Q: Talk about Adam Robinson’s carries down the stretch?
A: He did a great job of poise and composure and not running out of bounds just because that’s where the logical run was. He stayed in bounds on some plays and did such a good job of just acting like a veteran out there when he’s such a young kid. He’s really impressed us with everything he’s done. The o-line and him definitely carried us in that fourth and third quarter.
Q: How did you keep your focus after two interceptions?
A: That’s part of football. The picks will happen. You don’t want them to happen but you’ve got to respond and that’s when you just put it behind you and keep moving forward. It’s a team effort and I know, with my guys, that I can lean on them whenever something bad happens and you’re having a rough one.
Q: What turned you guys around in the second half?
A: It was a one-possession ball game. A lot can happen out there. We were moving the ball at times we just needed to finish. We needed to make a play. We kind of did that, but we kind of didn’t. We were able to do what we needed to do which was run the clock down and get a score.
Q: Do you feel like offense feeds off of you’re defense?
A: Absolutely. Our defense does such a good job of stopping teams and putting them in bad field position. Our returns will give us good field position because we have such good punting and punt return team. Today we definitely fed off of their momentum and energy obviously.
#19 Amari Spievey
Jr., Defensive Back
Q: You got beat on the first play, how did you recover?
A: I guess I wasn’t really respecting the receivers at first. It was a big wakeup call; a big humbling moment.
Q: What did the defense do in the second half to step it up?
A: We gathered ourselves and told ourselves that we have the whole game and to just keep playing and eventually it will start working out for us and it did.
Q: Did you guys get together after the big play at the beginning of the game and talk?
A: Yeah we all got together. My teammates knew that usually doesn’t happen with me. They told me to just forget about it. They got at me but they kind of motivated me at the same time so I guess it happens for a reason.
#94 Adrian Clayborn
Jr., Defensive Lineman
Q: What did you feel when you saw that blocked punt coming toward you?
A: I honestly don’t remember it. I remember being in the end zone and people trying to tackle me.
Q: How does it feel to play so well against Penn State two years in a row?
A: I’m just glad I can provide a spark for the team and the defensive line. It was crazy out there today.
Q: Did it seem surreal at all or did it feel like you did your job?
A: I did my job but I still can’t believe it. I’m still soaking it in. I’m glad I did my job.
Q: Did you think this was the kind of game that was going to rely on special teams?
A: We knew it was going to come down to the last possession. We knew special teams were going to be big like every week. We’ve got to come out and play the system and play our D and play the way coach tells us to.