Postgame Quotes

Nov. 7, 2009

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Iowa Player Quotes

Strong Safety Tyler Sash

(At what point did you feel this game slip away?)
“The entire game no one thought we were going to lose. I think that’s how you have to be as a competitor and as an athlete; you can never feel like you’re going to lose. This team is full of competitors and that’s all you can really ask for.”

(On his thoughts when Ricky Stanzi went down)
“I played against James (Vandenberg) in high school at Keokuk and, obviously, in practice all week. As soon as Rick (Stanzi) went down I went over to James and said ‘This is what you’ve been working for your whole life. I know you’re ready for it’. He was thrown into a tough situation. That’s not easy for a kid who hasn’t had that much experience at all; I think his only experience was at Iowa State where he did a good job there. I think he did a good job.”

(On not being able to get something started late in the game)
“It’s not really frustrating. We didn’t get the win and that’s all that matters. We win as a team and we lose as a team. Give credit to Northwestern, they made some plays today and they did a good job. This team is full of competitors and our backs have been against the wall all season. The way we respond speaks highly of this team. We’re going to see our corrections on film tomorrow and we’re going to be ready to go at Ohio State.”

Quarterback James Vandenberg

(On his mindset when Ricky Stanzi went down)
“I felt comfortable. I wasn’t really nervous. The older guys were with me the whole time and helping me out, so that made it a lot better. It’s one of those bittersweet situations where you just have to step in and I wasn’t able to make enough plays to get us the victory.”

“They (offensive linemen) were giving me great time and the receivers were working really hard. I made some mistakes I shouldn’t have made and we had to pay for it in the end.”

“I was ready as soon as Ricky went down; I knew it was kind of an awkward fall and they turned right to me. All the older guys came up to me and got me up to speed and had great confidence in me the whole day. They did a great job of hanging with me. They calmed me down, told me I was ready for this and said it was going to be just like practice. We made some plays, just not enough and you have to give all the credit to Northwestern.”

Wide Receiver Marvin McNutt

(on the loss to Northwestern)
“It hurts real bad, but after today you have to get it out of your mind and go play next week. We have to get ready for Ohio State.”

(on things ‘clicking’ early on)
“We gained a lot of momentum from that first touchdown. Then we came down again and drove the field and kicked a field goal. Then we just lost it.”

(on when Ricky Stanzi left the game)
“We had to pick everybody back up. Everybody was down at first and we did not know if Rick was done for the game. We just really tried to pick it up and we told Vandenberg we had his back and we were there for him.”

(on Vandenberg’s situation, his first game)
“It is really tough when you are down and it is your first game, especially because this was his first real experience. It is pretty tough as a quarterback. “

(on the confidence in the quarterbacks)
“Vandenberg had shown us everything Ricky has in practice. Rick is our leader and some guys may have felt that some things just weren’t clicking as well. We don’t have any excuses we just have to keep moving forward. “

Linebacker Pat Angerer

(on the loss to Northwestern)
“Obviously, it’s tough, any time you lose a game. The credit goes to them. They played hard, they are well coached and they are a tough group of guys.

(on seeing the injury to Stanzi)
“Obviously you see Rick hurt and you don’t want him to be hurt. James is a good guy, he is a competitor. I beat him up in practice many times and he always comes back for more. I know he is going to do a good job and he did a great job today.

(on rebounding before heading to Ohio State)
We just have to keep doing what we are doing, continue to fight and continue to improve. We are going to watch the tape and improve and then get ready for Ohio State.

(on the defense stepping up after the injury to Stanzi)
“We knew we had to keep doing what we were doing. We should not have let them score. That is on us. If they don’t score, we win.

Northwestern Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald

“We fully expected if we could put together 60 minutes of Wildcat football together in all three phases we’d have an opportunity to compete, and to our young men’s credit, we did. Especially as the game went along, I thought we continued to get stronger and the credit goes to our players. They worked their tails off in the off-season and throughout the year to try and improve and get better. We thought today would be an advantage for us with the heat. We feel like we’re a team that’s in great conditioning. We had guys go down, we picked up the flag again and kept on moving. I have to give a lot of credit to Kirk, his staff, and the young men in the Iowa locker room. It’s a great football team.”

On any game plan change after Stanzi leaving the game
“You never like to see that happen, it’s unfortunate to see Ricky get injured. He’s been having such a great year, it’s been a magical ride and you never want to see a competitor get injured. I hope he’s well and he comes back and plays as the season moves forward. As a big momentum play, not only getting the sack and causing the fumble, but getting the touchdown, that play was critical from a momentum standpoint. On one hand, you don’t want to change the game plan too much and you’re all of the sudden out of what you practiced all week. It’s kind of a double-edged sword. Obviously, that was Vandenberg’s first big experience of the year. It was great to watch the way our defense went out, battled, and made some big plays down the stretch.”

On the two quarterback system
“We stuck to the plan really well. Nick McCall and our offensive staff did a great job this week coming up with a plan how to utilize both guys’ strengths. I thought we executed the plan really well. In the second half, we did expect both quarterbacks to play, but we would have liked to play Persa more if his hand wasn’t injured.”

On Senior DE Cory Wooten’s performance
“Cory is just continuing to get closer and closer to finally getting over the hump of him becoming the player he wants to be. The expectations we have of him are the ones he sets for himself, and they are very high. I could not be more proud of him. He’s stayed the course, he’s battled, he’s persevered. It’s not been great for anyone on our team, but he found a way to get the job done today. It’s a credit to him, and it’s because he’s from a great family. He’s been that way his whole career and I couldn’t be prouder of the young man.”

On end of the year momentum
“I think we’re starting to play our best football of the year. It has nothing to do with Iowa, it has everything to do with us. I really believe we’re starting to hit our stride. Like I said earlier in the week, we have the utmost respect for this Iowa program and everybody in this league. We put our focus inward, and we have not put together four quarters of three phase football yet, and for the first time all year we did. I said it after the Syracuse game and I’ll say it again, we’re a dangerous team when we do that, and that’s on us as coaches to consistently get our players to play with focus and discipline, and to their credit, they did.”

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