Iowa vs. LSU Postgame Quotes

Jan. 1, 2014

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IOWA COACH Kirk Ferentz

Opening statement:
“I have to start out by saying this was just a fantastic experience for our entire football team. Being in a bowl is special, certainly coming to Tampa, this committee does a wonderful job of hosting teams and providing a great experience and the Outback company is a big, big part of that. They’ve supported this thing for 19 years now and six more coming so it just shows through top to bottom what a great experience it is and we’re very appreciative of the opportunity to be here. Congratulations to LSU. Certainly they made a lot of big plays today and did the things they had to do to get the victory. It was a hard fought game out there and I’m just very, very proud of our football team. They handled this month well, they’ve certainly done a good job since we came down here and they competed today. We came up short, credit to them, but I’m very proud of our players, our team and our coaching staff.”

On LSU utilizing the run and Iowa’s defensive performance:
“There was no surprise by that. They’ve run the ball and thrown the ball really well this year. It’s kind of not ironic but interesting, I guess, they took that first possession and pretty much drove it at ease and then the last possession as well if you’re not including taking the knee. Outside of those two possessions, but they all count certainly. The fact that our guys were out on the field probably too much affected us in that last one maybe a little bit, but they’ve got a good football team as you know. I thought our defense competed extremely hard.”

On quarterback Jake Rudock:
“He got hurt. He had a knee injury and reinjured that knee. At that point, he’s going to be fine, much like the last game. This month helped him certainly. I think having an out of season will really get him healthy. Nothing to be alarmed about and C.J. (Beathard) jumped in there and did a great job.”

On the offense struggles moving the ball:
“I don’t think it was anything magical; they played us a little bit differently than maybe we had seen, and that’s a credit to them. We adjusted a little bit. But they’re a tough defensive ball club. They’ve got a lot of good players, they’ve played pretty well traditionally and they certainly did this year. They just made it tough for us to move the ball consistently. I thought we did a little bit better job in the second half but to me it was a good defensive game. Overall, both teams were playing tough defense and sometimes that’s what happens when good teams get together.”

On a play that was held up because LSU was not allowed to substitute:
“Yeah, I think there was confusion on that. Typically if you don’t sub, they don’t hold up the play up. They must have thought we subbed, I guess, because they allowed them to do whatever they did. It’s part of the game. That was not the deciding factor, but it happens.”

On John Lowdermilk’s interception return for a touchdown later reviewed and placed at the one yard line:
“It was a great play, first of all. When you get in a game like that, a defensive ball game, you’re looking for a spark anywhere, it would be him. Jordan Cotton certainly gave us a spark on the kick return. We were hoping obviously it was a touchdown. It didn’t work out that way, but that’s part of the deal too. That’s a good play by Johnny.”

On the legacy of the three Iowa senior linebackers:
“We’ve had a lot of good players through the last 15 years, longer than that certainly. These three guys have just done an outstanding job. They’re all very different stories, although they all played as true freshmen. All different stories, but they’ve all just had tremendous careers and all three of those guys to me are a big part of us being here today. Certainly those three guys are at the head of the class.”

On how his team responded in the second half:
“That’s who they are. I don’t say it in an arrogant way. We wanted to win today, there’s no question about that. I’ll tell you, we’re all disappointed. But the bottom line is they deserved to win. They made the plays you have to make to get it done, credit to them on that. To be around this football team, to coach them, to go to the practice field every day with those guys, weight room, wherever they’ve been, it’s been a really great group of guys to work with. The guys have played hard, competed hard each and every step. That’s where it all starts. Everything you do in life starts with that and working hard. We came up short today, but I’m extremely proud of these guys. It’s been a lot of fun to be around them on a daily basis. It’s been a great 13 months.”

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