Sept. 9, 2014
- Hawkeye Football Game Day
- 2014 Fall Camp Central
- Read the September issue of Hawk Talk Monthly
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- Big Ten Network: Free Hawkeye Video
By DARREN MILLER
IOWA CITY, Iowa — It doesn’t matter when or where, University of Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz said Tuesday, Iowa versus Iowa State in football is a big game capping a big week for fans in the state.
Ferentz’s Hawkeyes head into Saturday’s contest with an undefeated 2-0 record; Iowa State is 0-2. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:35 p.m. (CT) inside a sold-out Kinnick Stadium (70,585). Iowa holds a 40-21 advantage in the series, with wins in four of the last six meetings.
“It’s a big and exciting game for everybody involved,” Ferentz said Tuesday at his weekly news conference inside the Hayden Fry Football Complex. “It’s going to be a big, big challenge for us.”
Ferentz was asked if the rivalry had a “big brother-little brother” feel. None of the players in Saturday’s game are old enough to remember Iowa’s 63-20 win over Iowa State in 1997. That was the 15th straight victory for the Hawkeyes in the series (1983-97). Or, as Ferentz said, “the 80s are ancient history to me.”
“I used to have black hair and all my kids were in elementary school then,” Ferentz said. “So, that’s a long time ago.”
Ferentz said several Hawkeyes are day-to-day following a physical 17-13 victory over Ball State on Sept. 6. UI starting defensive end Drew Ott — the Big Ten Conference Defensive Player of the Week — was involved in a moped accident Monday. Ferentz said the incident required stitches.
“Scary moment,” Ferentz said. “Fortunately he’s doing well.”“We would prefer to be more balanced, but we’re going to play the situation however we have to. You find a way to win and to perform, and that is football. That’s the challenge of it.”Kirk Ferentz
UI football coach
Three of the first four questions for Ferentz on Tuesday were about the status of senior offensive left tackle Brandon Scherff. Scherff was injured in the second quarter against Ball State, but returned to play and was available for postgame interviews. Ferentz acknowledged that Scherff is one of the Hawkeyes who is “stiff and sore.”
“We don’t know that,” Ferentz said when asked if Scherff would play Saturday. “He’s day-to-day right now. We’ll see how it goes.”
A fresh face that will be ready to play against the Cyclones is redshirt freshman linebacker Josey Jewell. Jewell’s next snap will be his first as a collegian, and although Ferentz said Jewell has practiced well in spring and preseason camp, it is too early to get a read on his game-day effectiveness.
“At the very least, hopefully he can help us on special teams,” Ferentz said. “We’re not the deepest group at linebacker, so hopefully he’ll get involved in that.”
The UI kicking game has drawn attention after two games. The Hawkeyes are 2-of-6 at field goals and average 36.6 yards per punt.
“There are a lot of variables to the psychology of kicking and punting,” Ferentz said. “My experience has been that guys tend to be up and down a little bit. We have to stay the course and get better at it and hopefully see better results this weekend.”
In the first two games this season, the Hawkeyes have attempted 41 and 55 passes. In 2013 — during a 27-21 Iowa win at Jack Trice Stadium — UI quarterback Jake Rudock was 14-of-23 with 160 yards and two touchdowns. The Hawkeyes ran the ball 60 times for 218 yards.
This season Iowa’s offense has featured 96 passes and 65 runs.
“We would prefer to be more balanced, but we’re going to play the situation however we have to,” Ferentz said. “You find a way to win and to perform, and that is football. That’s the challenge of it.”