Iowa Head Coach Kirk Ferentz Postgame Transcript


Oct. 22, 2011

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Ferentz Postgame Transcript in PDF Format

COACH FERENTZ: I think the experience that guys are getting is going to help us down the road. It’s fairly obvious, we give up four pretty lengthy drives, they’re getting too much yardage on the ground for us to be where we want to be.

The good news is guys are getting some experience, they’re being called upon, jumping in, doing a good job. We should be getting closer to healthy here each week, I hope. Hopefully we’ll make some improvement and do a little bit better job.

Q. Are you concerned about Keenan Davis injury?
COACH FERENTZ: We’ll know more tomorrow. Nobody is really alarmed right now. I don’t think we came out of it at least at this point with anything bad. Tyler Nielsen tried to go, but he couldn’t grip anything well enough. Jeff Tarpinian had the same injury a year ago. It took him about eight days. We’ll hopefully get Tyler back midweek here and hopefully start adding some guys.

Q. Concerned that he was still out there?
COACH FERENTZ: No, I wasn’t even thinking about that. So no.

Q. The offense overall, four touchdowns on their first four possessions. The efficiency of the offense, their execution.
COACH FERENTZ: It was really good. We needed it in that first half because we started pretty slow defensively. But it was pretty good to see the guys respond, keep playing. They were clearly focused right from the start. That’s a positive.

Q. Five straight running plays to start the game. Was that a point of emphasis or planned out or how it went early?
COACH FERENTZ: Yeah, we had a couple scripted, for sure. Wanted to get Marcus going, get the line going. They really did some good things a week ago. We tried to keep feeding that a little bit.

I thought one of the positives was at the end of the game, give De’Andre and Jordan Canzeri a chance to play, too. That’s a positive. We’re going to need to give Marcus a little break at times.

Q. Could you talk a little more about McNutt and his record?
COACH FERENTZ: Yeah, you know, a couple things again. The two guys that he just surpassed are excellent football players, guys that had great careers here at Iowa and great careers certainly beyond. Danan has already texted Marvin. I’m guessing Tim is going to reach out to Marvin at some point, too.

If you think about it, he made that move in ’08 unselfishly. He’s really worked hard. You don’t win records by accident. It’s a real tribute to his work ethic. So happy for him.

Q. Has it gotten to the point with him where you throw a ball in his general direction and he’ll catch it?
COACH FERENTZ: Hopefully the ball will be fairly well aimed. But he made a really nice grab on our bench, down to our right today, where he reached over and kind of plucked that ball right away. He’s got good size and good range that way. That’s an advantage. It’s only an advantage if you use it, though.

Q. (No microphone.)
COACH FERENTZ: He’s learned how to do that. It’s been a process for him. Again, it’s a real tribute to him.

Q. Would you say he’s at the top of his talent level now?
COACH FERENTZ: I hope everybody out there is going to get better. That’s what we need to do as a team right now.

I think we’re playing hard. We’re just not playing well enough at all times. I’m encouraged because I think we practiced a little bit better this past week. Hopefully we can just keep pushing forward here and improving a little bit.

Q. The A.J. situation, moved to linebacker, what led to that? Is that going to be a permanent shift for him?
COACH FERENTZ: I think at this juncture, we’re more than thin out there right now. It’s been a real problematic area almost for two years actually. It seems like when (indiscernible) and Edds graduated, we’ve been playing catch up a little bit.

I think we just had a discussion somewhere during the week, threw it at him a little bit. He was receptive to it. I really think it’s going to be a good thing for him. We saw him on that kickoff coverage today, it was excellent. We’ve been searching for guys there. He went down and made a real nice play. Not that he knows what we’re doing defensively yet, but he’s moving around well on the practice field.

Yeah, I think this is something that he’ll have a chance to do really well. He’s not Jonathan Babineaux. But Jonathan could play a couple spots, Greenway the same way.

I think he’s got that same potential, he could play a couple spots as well. But right now linebacker seems to be what we’re focused on. I think he’s excited about it.

Q. Is that a permanent move?
COACH FERENTZ: Planning on it. But nothing seems permanent around here right now with injuries and what have you. But that’s what we’re going to focus on, planning on focusing on, the rest of the way.

Q. Shaun Prater came out after the two personal foul penalties?
COACH FERENTZ: Yeah. I think the first one, I’m not saying it was a mistake, but I’m not sure he was really guilty of something there. We’ll see on the film. Shaun has done a good job. He’s playing real well for us. He’s right back in there.

Q. After the first two drives where Indiana went down field, talk about the defense.
COACH FERENTZ: I’m not sure we really did anything major. I think it’s just a matter of playing better, executing better. They didn’t catch us off guard with anything. They unveiled that formation, went to it last week a little bit. I guess they’re calling it ‘the diamond’. That’s kind of going around college football right now. There aren’t a lot of new inventions in football right now. They were playing well, executing well. The quarterback did a good job.

That’s one of the areas we’ve got to work on. But we lost our rhythm a little bit offensively in the third quarter. There wasn’t much going well in the third quarter outside Jordan Bernstine had a nice kick return, Meyers hit that field goal. Outside that, it was a rough quarter for us. We got to get better there.

Q. With the new divisional play, Wisconsin beats Michigan State, you’re tied for first. There’s still a long way to go. One of the new nuances in divisional play is it opens up the competition. Can you talk to that, the race that’s going on.
COACH FERENTZ: I don’t even know what the tiebreaker system is. I’ve seen it. I don’t pay attention to that stuff quite frankly. I hope we’re not involved in that. It’s better to win things outright. The only thing I figure with two divisions, two teams are going to get a chance to play instead of one. You’re going to be in a tough ballgame if you’re in that game in Indianapolis.

The other thing I notice, it’s good to win each week. We started out 0 1, but we got two down. We haven’t won on the road yet. We got to find a way to get something done next Saturday. If you keep winning, that’s a good thing. You can’t really worry too much who is ahead of you, who is behind you. You have to focus on what you’re trying to get done.