An Arena Football-Esque Spring Scrimmage

April 27, 2013

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz likened Saturday’s Spring Scrimmage inside Kinnick Stadium to arena football based on the final 61-37 victory by the Hawkeye offense.

“The scoring system was devised by an offensive coach,” said Ferentz in a news conference following the conclusion of the scrimmage. “I feel like we were in an arena game out there at one point, but the players enjoyed that part of it.”

The spring scrimmage was the culmination of 15 spring practices, and Ferentz says he was pleased with the way the Hawkeyes worked and improved.

“You’re never totally pleased with everything, but the players have worked really hard and I can say that about the majority of our 15 opportunities to practice,” he said. “We have seen a lot of growth. More on an individual basis than as a team, but all that stuff adds up.

“We still have work to do as in putting things together, but it has been fun to watch the players improve.”

“I appreciate the fan support. It was a nice crowd today and a nice crowd in Des Moines a couple of weeks ago. That was a positive thing for our team.”
UI head coach Kirk Ferentz

All three quarterbacks — Jake Rudock, Cody Sokol and C.J. Beathard — split the game action. Ferentz says the trio has progressed this spring and the competition will carry over into fall camp.

“We didn’t plan on making any decisions coming out of today,” said Ferentz. “All three are doing good things and have things to work on. We’ll try to address those things moving forward.

“Today wasn’t an official game, but it at least put them in a game situation, and it will be a good learning tool for them.”

Ferentz said the quarterback battle will likely be made sometime in mid-August, and it won’t carry over into the first game week, leading up to the Aug. 31 season opener against Northern Illinois.

“At some point, we have to make a decision,” he said. “We have to make a call, and if it is dead even, you do what you have to do. At some point, you have to get the team ready and there has to be flow and continuity.

“We’ll make the call when it’s appropriate and go from there. The good news is, right now, there is no pressure to do that.”

Ferentz lauded the fans for their support this spring. Saturday’s attendance was estimated at 16,500.

“I appreciate the fan support,” he said. “It was a nice crowd today and a nice crowd in Des Moines a couple of weeks ago. That was a positive thing for our team.”

Ferentz was pleased with the result of the new scrimmage format, and left the door open moving forward.

“We’ll certainly consider it,” he said. “I bet when I walk in (to the locker room) the defensive guys will be complaining and the offensive guys will say it’s a great system.”

The Hawkeyes will open the 2013 season with back-to-back home games inside Kinnick Stadium, hosting Northern Illinois on Aug. 31 and Missouri State on Sept. 7.