Ferentz Credits Fans For Giving Hawkeyes a Lift

Oct. 27, 2013

Sunday Conversation with Coach Ferentz

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Head coach Kirk Ferentz complimented the usual following the University of Iowa’s 17-10 football victory against Northwestern on Saturday: offense, defense, coaches.

But he saved ample praise for the 67,000 inside Kinnick Stadium.

“Our fans couldn’t have been better during that overtime period,” he said Sunday during an exclusive interview with hawkeyesports.com. “Kinnick was really rocking. The fan involvement was fantastic; that helped fuel our team for sure.”

The win against the Wildcats lifted Iowa’s record to 5-3 overall, 2-2 in the Big Ten Conference. By winning the turnover battle, 2-1, the Hawkeyes are now 5-0 this season when they have an edge in takeaways.

“We talk about that all the time with our football team,” Ferentz said. “I think turnover takeaway margin is probably as critical as anything. It’s hard to overcome turnovers. Right now we’re 5-0 in games we win that battle; yesterday both their takeaways were big plays in the game.”

The Hawkeye defense allowed 10 points against a Northwestern team that entered the day averaging 31.1 a game.

“It’s a team effort to stop a team like Northwestern,” Ferentz said. “(Kain Colter) is a dangerous, elusive player and a tremendous competitor; their system is very difficult to defend. To hold them to 10 points was quite an accomplishment.”

Iowa is up for a different type of challenge this week when No. 22 Wisconsin (5-2, 3-1) comes to Kinnick Stadium for an 11 a.m. (CT) kickoff. The Badgers use a 3-4 defense (similar to Missouri State, Iowa’s opponent in Week 2) with an offense comparable to the one used by the Hawkeyes.

“It will be a new and different preparation for our offensive football team,” Ferentz said. “Offensively they look similar to what we have seen in years past. We haven’t played an offensive team like that for a couple weeks, so that will be an adjustment for our defensive squad to get acclimated to a system similar to what Wisconsin runs.”

Ferentz added that a few Hawkeye players were “nicked up” against Northwestern, but they should all be ready by mid-week.

“To win games in our conference, little things have to be going for you,” he said.