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11/9/2010: Kirk Ferentz teleconference transcript (premium)

Posted on 09. Nov, 2010 by in Iowa Football

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By Brendan Stiles

HawkeyeDrive.com

Below is a written transcript of Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz’s teleconference on Tuesday with the Big Ten media:

Ferentz’s opening statement:

“First of all, I’m happy for Mike’s success, Mike Meyer. He has really done a nice job for us. Had several field goals the other day, and certainly the one in the fourth quarter was a real big hit for us, so I’m happy to see him coming along. It was a very tough game, a hard-fought game by both teams. Indiana played really excellent football and competed really hard, and we were fortunate to get out with the victory. We’ve got a lot of work to do to get some things cleaned up in our end, and then certainly, more work in terms of preparing for Northwestern, a very tough opponent.”

On whether he gets tired of people asking why Iowa has a tough time against Northwestern:

“You’re the first to ask today. Maybe by the end, I will be. It’s pretty simple. They’ve outplayed us, which is normally the case when you’re on the short end of the stick, and it certainly has been if you look at the last couple of games. The ones that are fresh in my mind are the last two. They played better than us, and they deserved to win.”

On whether there’s any Northwestern does schematically on offense that proves difficult on Iowa’s defense:

“I saw Pat [Fitzgerald]’s comments yesterday, and I think it’s really the obvious is what it comes to. At least the last two years, I think you’re looking at two really good football teams that have played, and they have not only had the edge in terms of turnovers, they’ve had a decided edge. You know, when you’re in a game that’s even, which I look at both last year’s games being pretty even from the onset, the team that fails in the turnover category is going to struggle, and boy, we sure did that. And then we combine some special teams miscues, especially two years ago, with that and you’re in an even game, it’s going to be a bad fate for you. Northwestern now, I think for the past two years, they’ve had excellent football teams. They went on and played very well in their bowls, and they’re pretty good off of it.”

On what he thinks makes Dan Persa a good player:

“Where do you start? I mean first of all, he’s following a guy who was an excellent player. [Mike] Kafka was not a four-year starter for Northwestern, but boy, what an impact he had on their football team last year. A vivid illustration of that was their bowl game. I can’t remember how many plays he was involved with, but it was a ridiculous number of both throws and carries. We saw Dan Persa first-hand last year, he rotated in with Kafka against us and played extraordinarily well, and he has just picked up from there. The guy throws the ball well, he’s a dangerous runner, and most of all, he’s really a tough competitor.”

On if there’s a mental hurdle that needs to be overcome given Northwestern’s success:

“I think what we need to do is play better. They’ve outplayed us two years in a row. Again, they had excellent football teams in both of those years. They took Missouri into overtime, and I think they took Auburn, who’s in the national title hunt, they took Auburn into overtime last year in a bowl game. And you can argue in both of those games, they had a chance to win. So I think that’s just a reflection on their team. They’ve got good players, they’re extremely well-coached, and they play hard each and every week. When you play a good football team, which is what Northwestern has been, I’m just looking back the last two years but they’ve been extremely good.

“I look back four years ago, and they went through us like we weren’t even here in ’06. They weren’t a good team then by record. They were winless in the Big Ten. They ran the ball down our throats, we couldn’t do a thing about it, and we couldn’t move the ball offensively. That’s going back four years I guess, but the last two years, there have been two pretty good teams playing if you look at it from the end of the year, and they outplayed us. If you turn the ball over, you’re not going to win against a good team. That has been our No. 1 issue.”

On the status of running back Adam Robinson:

“We expect him to be at practice today and dressed. He seemed fine on Sunday. He missed a game, he was hurt for a week, and he’s back with us.”

On the high-level play from Ricky Stanzi and what being named the league’s MVP would mean:

“Well, I think anybody who wins that award would be thrilled to death. It’s such a prestigious award and if you look at the players who have won it since it started, it’s just a great, great honor. It’s a tremendous conference and a lot of great players have not won that thing. To win that is really saying something about a young guy’s performance. I’m not big on politicking for any of our guys, but to me, the play speaks for itself and I think Ricky has done a great job. We’ve got a lot of good quarterbacks in our conference this year, there are a lot of great players in our conference, and I’m not smart enough to rank them who’s the best to worst, that type of thing. I just know that he has been playing some really great football for us, and we’re thrilled he’s on our team.”

On how the wide receiving corps Iowa possesses has helped Stanzi:

“I think it’s just a reflection. We’ve got our most experienced group of receivers we’ve ever had, at least in the last 12 years. Derrell [Johnson-Koulianos] obtained those records because he has been around long. He has played basically four years now and has done a good job. And then Marvin [McNutt] is a little different story. He came here as a quarterback and made the move to receiver in ’08. He was just kind of learning on the run in ’08. Last year was really his first year playing the position full-time. He did a good job and he has continued to improve on that.

“We’re just happy about the development of both those players. Neither one of them came here and were high-school receivers. They’ve had to learn their trade and it has given Ricky Stanzi two good targets, certainly, and then Allen Reisner, another senior, has done a great job at tight end for us. Those are three guys involved in our passing game that have certainly given Ricky good options.”

On if he agrees with Pat Fitzgerald saying he saw Stanzi make one mistake on tape:

“Well, Pat hasn’t seen all the tape and I think he said that, too. He hasn’t seen all the tape, but with that being said, Ricky has played at a really high level. That was a big criticism of him a year ago. Everybody was focused on his interceptions, and they were there. Nobody is making excuses and Ricky sure won’t. But the thing I was focused on was how he led our team, and it just seems like we’ve won a lot of games with him under center. He has continued to do that and has been a tremendous leader. But there’s no question his fifth year has really paid off for him. I think he has really sharpened his level of efficiency, and we’re extremely happy with the way he has been leading our team and the way he has been throwing the football.”

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