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9/25/2012: Kirk Ferentz teleconference transcript (premium)

Posted on 25. Sep, 2012 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:

“We obviously had a disappointing outcome on Saturday. Central [Michigan] outplayed us and deserved to win. Credit goes to them. It’s disappointing. We worked on that Sunday and then turned our sights to Minnesota this week and certainly, we’ve got a great challenge on our hands. They’re playing very well and come in undefeated, so it’s exciting to get into the Big Ten, certainly, and we’ve got a real challenge in front of us.”

On whether the dynamic of the Iowa/Minnesota rivalry has changed given Minnesota’s recent success:

“Well, you know, it has always been a rival. I got here in ’81 and it was a rival, playing for Floyd of Rosedale. So there was some added incentive, if you will, there. But it has always been a great series and certainly, I think anytime there’s a change in staffs, it changes things a little bit. Coach [Jerry] Kill has done a wonderful job up there in a very short amount of time.

“The bottom line is they’re not 4-0 by some fluke or anything like that. They’ve outplayed four teams and earned four victories. The reason is because they’re playing really well. They’re playing disciplined football. They play together and play with a lot of energy and enthusiasm.”

On what stands out to him about Minnesota’s success this season getting off to a 4-0 start:

“Well, I think it’s like anything. You know, the first year, a lot of people are feeling their way around, I think. At least typically, that’s what happens. I think right now, if you watch the film, they’re playing more confident. I think they probably have a much better understanding of — I’m talking about the players — what they’re being asked to do. Ultimately, they’re just playing with a lot of confidence. They’re playing fast. They’ve had some success and that tends to bring more success.”

On whether using the tight ends more will be part of Iowa’s game plan:

“It has always been part of our game plan. It’s just a matter of how things develop out on the field. But most of our pass patterns, we don’t keep our tight ends in a lot, in protection. At times, we do. But they get out an awful lot. There’s really no way to dictate where the ball’s going to go. The defense handles that more so than we do.”

On how he would evaluate the play of quarterback James Vandenberg through these first four games:

“I think he has played well. But we haven’t played well enough to win in two of them. That’s the way it is for James, that’s the way it is for all of our players, that’s the way it is for our coaching staff.”

On how he gets his team to move on from a loss like last weekend to Central Michigan:

“Well, that’s the reality of football. Whether you win or lose, you have to move past whatever you do the previous weekend and then focus on two things — focus on what you need to do better internally and then also, you have to focus on your opponent. So week-to-week, it really doesn’t change a lot.

“The only difference now is we’re moving into conference play, which is significant. But this game is just as important as the last one. We can’t really do anything about the last one now, so we have to turn our attention fully to Minnesota and see what we can do to be prepared for that game.”

On whether he has seen progress made offensively in the last two games:

“Well, we scored touchdowns, for one thing. We were having a hard time doing that the first two weeks. We scored at the end of our first ball game and then not at all in terms of touchdowns in our second ball game. So we’re doing a little bit better job of putting it in the end zone and finishing drives. Needless to say if you’re going to be successful offensively, you have to come out with points any time you’re down at your opponent’s end. If it’s all field goals, that catches up to you after awhile. I think we’ve made improvement there in some regards.”

On if there’s anything specific he feels he and his staff need to do a better job of:

“Well, yeah. I mean, clearly we weren’t prepared well enough last week, so we didn’t play well enough as a result. It’s really the same objective each and every week and it has been that way for over 13 years now. We come in every week at the start of the week to do our best to prepare the football team to play well, and then you have to go out and play well. Nothing has really changed year-to-year or week-to-week.”

On the importance of the UI’s commitment to recent facility upgrades:

“Well, I think it’s really important across the board in college football. If you look historically, it’s probably not as important maybe in some institutions. Things have probably changed a little bit, but if you go back 10-15 years ago, I think some of the warmer weather destination-type schools didn’t have to worry as much about having great facilities because they were selling other things. But you know, a school in the Midwest or a state that isn’t real heavily-populated, I think it’s extremely important. So that has been our motivation to move forward.

“I mean, the bottom line is if you have a doable practice field, or practice fields, or a doable indoor arena, it really doesn’t matter what the price tag is. You should be able to get your preparation done. But when you start thinking about recruiting and things of that nature — pro teams are evidence of what I just mentioned a minute ago — when you factor in recruiting, I think facilities are very, very important. So I think depending on where you’re at or what your situation is, it could be a degree of importance. It varies a little bit, but the importance is there.”

On if he thinks the average fan realizes the importance of facilities in a recruit’s eyes:

“Probably not. It’s hard to conceptualize as much when you throw numbers around like you did a minute ago and all of the facilities that are being built. I know Arizona’s going through a project, Washington State. You’re talking about really big numbers. But I go back 20 years ago, too, and the things that were going on back then were big numbers, too. It’s kind of the reality of competitive sports right now.”

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