Sunday Conversation With Kirk Ferentz

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — When it comes to traveling trophy games, nine out of 10 isn’t bad.
That’s the way the scorecard reads for the University of Iowa football program after Saturday’s 17-10 victory over Minnesota to retain Floyd of Rosedale. Since the 2015 season, the Hawkeyes have won three Cy-Hawk trophies, three Floyd of Rosedale trophies, two Heroes Game trophies, and one Heartland trophy.
“We were thrilled to get the win; trophy games are important for us and that’s nine out of 10 total for us now,” Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz said Sunday. “To get Floyd last night and keep him in Iowa was important to us.”
“Typical of the series, it usually gets down to a really close, hard-fought game and last night was no exception. I thought we had a chance to start to widen the gap a little bit, but to (Minnesota’s) credit, they came back and pulled within one score again. It went right down to the wire and I was proud of the way our guys fought and competed.
“The biggest thing is you have to keep playing, whether it’s offense, defense, or special teams. Every play is of critical importance. You want players to understand that, but also they have to go out and play, they can’t be tied up by the circumstances. It’s the idea of trying to push it through and see if you can’t maximize every opportunity. If you get an opportunity for a play, you want to make it and don’t want to give up anything easy to your opponent.”
“They have been playing hard and tough. The guys up front did a good job stopping the inside run which is something we were concerned about coming into the game. Our opponent had done a good job of that the week before. We took away the inside run for the most part, which was good to see and then I thought we got good pressure for the most part and at the end to catch the quarterback a couple times is big.”
“Those guys worked hard. The fact we are rotating players — we have eight guys in the rotation right now — is helping keep everybody fresh. You see guys like Anthony Nelson at the end of the game have a lot of energy left.”
“It was good to see us not only start a good drive, but also finish it off and get the ball in the end zone. We did the same thing in the second half.
“Both of those things were representative of what we were trying to do, then the rest of the game offensively, we had errors that hurt us. We had the tough interception in the first quarter, then we had a couple penalties that came at inopportune times that really hurt our momentum. Those are the things we still have to overcome if we are going to become a consistent offense.”
“It’s good to be in Kinnick, now you move into November, so we have a four-game schedule and start it off with a nationally ranked team. This year we have teams that are highly ranked in the conference — we have already faced one in Penn State. This will be another big challenge and it is good to be at home.
“You’re looking at a challenge much like Penn State; (Ohio State) can run it, throw it, and is very talented on defense. It’s tough to remember an Ohio State team that wasn’t more than respectable. It will be a big week for us and we will need a great week of preparation.”
Iowa (5-3 overall, 2-3 Big Ten) hosts No. 3 Ohio State (7-1, 5-0) on Nov. 4. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. (CT). To purchase tickets, click HERE