Nov. 9, 2014
- Hawkeye Football Game Day
- 2014 Fall Camp Central
- Read the November issue of Hawk Talk Monthly
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- Big Ten Network: Free Hawkeye Video
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Sunday was a day of looking forward for the University of Iowa football team, as the Hawkeyes prepare for Saturday’s contest at Illinois (11:01 a.m., BTN). Iowa suffered its third loss of the season at Minnesota on Nov. 8, 51-14, and stands at 6-3 for the season and 3-2 in Big Ten Conference play.
“That opening drive was the only highlight that we had. We did a good job in converting a couple of third downs and executed well and got ahead on the road in a tough environment, which is what you hope to do” said Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz. “After that, the things we talk about being basic to success, we didn’t do a good job in those areas. That starts with special teams, the turnover ratio, along with their average field position. It makes it tough to win ball games when you let those things take place.”
A big play in Iowa’s opening drive was a 24-yard completion from quarterback Jake Rudock to running back Damon Bullock on the third play of the game. Bullock, a senior who has become Iowa’s third-down running back, ended the day with 41 yards on four receptions.
“That is the role we have carved out for Damon, and he has done a good job with that,” said Ferentz. “Not only with catching the football and running after the catch, but also with blocking and protection. He has done a good job with it; he has embraced it; he came up with a couple of good plays yesterday and we’re going to need that coming down the stretch.”
“We were able to get the back-ups in there and I thought they made a good accounting of themselves,” said Ferentz. “C.J. did a good job and it was good for Andrew to have that highlight of the touchdown catch.”
Junior linebacker Travis Perry started for the second straight game and collected a career-best six tackles. Perry was injured on Iowa’s final kickoff of the day and will miss the final three games of the regular season.
“Unfortunately, Travis suffered a lower leg injury and will be out for at least four weeks,” said Ferentz. “That will keep him out of the remainder of the regular season.”
As of Sunday evening, the Hawkeyes had put the loss behind them and started preparation for Illinois. Saturday will mark the first meeting between the two teams since 2008.
“It was a tough day, there’s no doubt about that, and there is no way to spin it in a positive direction, so that is history,” said Ferentz. “We’ve dissected it and hopefully learned from it. At some point you have to turn the page and move on, if you don’t you get left behind. The bottom line is we have three games left right now, that are all scheduled, hopefully we’ll earn a fourth game on top of that. All that counts right now is what we do this week. It’s all about getting ready for our next opponent, who a couple of weeks ago beat Minnesota. It’s the nature of our league right now; if you’re not ready to go 100 percent and clicking on Saturday, it’s going to be a long day. We need a good week of preparation and go down and play a good game at Illinois.”
Following the contest at Illinois, the Hawkeyes finish the regular season with home games against Wisconsin (Nov. 22) and Nebraska (Nov. 28). Tickets for both games remain on sale at the UI Athletics Ticket Office in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, by phone (1-800-IA-HAWKS) or online at hawkeyesports.com.