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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Fasten your seatbelts and get ready for another 60-minute game.
That was the message University of Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz told a crowd at the kickoff breakfast hosted by the Johnson County I-Club on Friday morning at the Sheraton Hotel.
“It was a full 60-minute game,” said Ferentz, describing a season-opening 18-17 win against Northern Illinois on Sept. 1 in Chicago. “I think we can probably anticipate more of those, so put your seatbelt on, I think it’s going to be the nature of the season.”
Ferentz called last week’s victory a positive start, especially because the game was on the road at Soldier Field.
“We have a big challenge on our hands and it’s one we’re looking forward to. When we get to Kinnick tomorrow at 2:30 and come out on the field, the fans will be more than ready, and we have to do our job. That’s what we’ve been working on all week.”
UI head football coach
“We had to get on buses, travel, and go through all the logistical parts of being on the road,” Ferentz said. “But once we got to the stadium, it was like being at home. Our fans are absolutely fantastic. Any of you that traveled to Chicago, we appreciate you supporting the team and we’re looking forward to being at home.”
Keeping with tradition of the first I-Club breakfast of the season, Ferentz introduced the Hawkeye freshmen football players. That happened after door prizes were awarded, and Ferentz took that opportunity to joke with the UI marching band, spirit squad and dance team, whose members were in attendance.
“You guys came alive on those prizes,” Ferentz said. “It was like our game last week — you guys came alive at there at the end.”
Previewing Iowa State, the opponent Saturday, Ferentz said the Cyclones had an impressive win (38-23) against a very good Tulsa team last week.
“They look to be the strongest team since coach (Paul) Rhoads has gotten up there,” Ferentz said. “They looked polished on offense, defensively they look very comfortable, and they play well on special teams.
“It ought to be an exciting football game. That’s been the tradition of this series and I imagine tomorrow will be the same thing. The team that can do a good job in those sticky situations will be the one that comes out victorious.”
Iowa leads the all-time series 39-20 and the Hawkeyes won 35-7 in the most recent meeting in Iowa City (2010). Iowa State won 44-41 in triple overtime last season in Ames.
“We have a big challenge on our hands and it’s one we’re looking forward to,” Ferentz said. “When we get to Kinnick tomorrow at 2:30 and come out on the field, the fans will be more than ready, and we have to do our job. That’s what we’ve been working on all week.”