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Ferentz takes the blame


KIRK FERENTZ: A couple things I'll just start real quickly before we get to football. I thought our fans were tremendous today, certainly appreciate that. And they've been great all year, so we're very appreciative of that. You know, we certainly couldn't honor the vets in a better fashion. I think that's two years in a row now we've lost when we celebrated Veterans Day. But just certainly appreciative of the athletic department's efforts to recognize that in a very, I think, appropriate way.

​And the last thing, just I think everybody feels the same way in our community and the University of Iowa community, just our sympathy to the family of Sam Becker. I've had the pleasure of meeting some really great Iowans during my time, and I met Professor Becker back in the '80s through recruiting, and I know he wasn't a native Iowan but his story is absolutely fantastic. I believe I'm correct in saying he got in here in 1940 and has been here ever since, just what a gentleman, so humble and just a tremendous person. So that's certainly a big loss for our community, but what a life he had.

​Regarding the game, obviously disappointing. Give Purdue credit; they came in and played to win and competed hard enough to win, and looked like the team that played against Ohio State, Notre Dame earlier in the year. So give them credit.
​Clearly we were outcoached and outplayed, particularly in the first half. That's disappointing.

​And really the only two positives I can share with you right now, I thought our guys fought in the second half and gave us a chance to win, but we came up short there. The effort and attitude was certainly there. And then the one positive from our team right now that we're watching is our special teams are  they are playing at a level that can be successful in the Big Ten Conference, and that's kickoff, kickoff coverage, kick return. Connor did a nice job today punting the football. It was clearly a couple of his biggest moments, and Mike Meyer has been doing a good job.
​That's the big positives I can share with you, and outside of that, there isn't a lot to bring up today.

​Q. How were you outcoached and why?
KIRK FERENTZ: Real simply they clearly outplayed us in the first half. They were more ready to play emotionally, more ready to play cleaner, more fundamentally sound. You can say it's this, it's that, lunar moon, whatever, but that's coaching. And that's me. Coaching starts with me.

​Q. You said special teams are playing at a level that you like. Why not go for the field goal instead of the 4th and 3?
KIRK FERENTZ: You're talking about at the end of the game? We were out there pretty good, so I felt like that was a better percentage. I guess we could have gone for the field goal. It really didn't occur to me at that point, but we could have taken a shot at it.

​Q. You were into the wind?
KIRK FERENTZ: The wind was in our face. Going into the game and through the game we were thinking 30yard line, but on the last play of the game if you miss it they've still got the ball right there. So I guess if you make it, it changes the game. Really hadn't thought about it.

​Q. That call on offense, is that something that you would allow to be changed?
KIRK FERENTZ: Typically Greg calls the offense, Phil calls the defense. We just didn't get it done.

​Q. Talk about the running game the last couple weeks. It's really seemed to struggle.
KIRK FERENTZ: Well, you've probably noticed we're not looking quite as same as we were a couple weeks ago. But the guys are working on it, they're trying. I think the defense has something to do with that, our personnel has something to do with that, but we're just not moving the ball, period, well enough, and like you said, a lot of things, but I think the biggest thing is the negative yardage plays. When you go backwards that affects your third downs a lot. I think we were literally 4 for 16, they were 9 of 16, so that's a big factor, those negative yardage plays, and some of those were runs didn't help us.

​To hang our hat on the run right now, it's probably not going to be what we're going to do. I don't know that we can do that with a heavy percentage, but we still have to run the ball effectively if we're going to win.

​Q. You had a first and goal at the 6yard line. How critical was it you couldn't get a touchdown in that situation?
KIRK FERENTZ: I think if you look at it, we had five drives today offensively where we moved the ball, and in a couple of instances we moved the ball the length of the field and did a good job. But I think if it comes down to anything, certainly it goes back to the first week of the season. We had our time down in the red zone.

​So yeah, if you can't come up with a touchdown there that impacts the game, and then certainly at the end of the game we had a fourth and three I believe it was, a very makable situation and we couldn't make that, not that it's a routine play or easy. But this time we drove the ball, too, but those two drives, not finishing those in a threepoint ballgame were going to come up big.

​Q. Talk about when you're on a streak like this, how do you manage the psyche of the team, keep players thinking positively?
KIRK FERENTZ: I mean, it's really simple; if you want to compete and if you want to be part of this, then you come back tomorrow really concerned about and interested in what can we do to improve, and that's each and every one of us, coaches, players. And if not, then maybe you need to do something else. But it's not like there are any options here right now. Nobody is going to throw us a life raft or anything like that. We need to take care of ourselves and try to do what we can to do better in all areas.

​Q. Purdue had three turnovers and 10 penalties and still wins, you only have two penalties and no turnovers. Does that say more about you guys or more about Purdue?
KIRK FERENTZ: Well, the only thing I'll say again, me personally, I thought we lost the game in the first half the way we played. I really didn't spend much time peeking at the stats over the first half. But I just know this: We didn't play well enough to expect to beat them, and they did; to their credit, they did.

​Q. On that fourth and three, is that a play where you maybe more expect everybody to get past the sticks so at least the throw is going to get there and get the first down?
KIRK FERENTZ: Well, yeah, either that or you hope the receiver has leverage on the defender where he can get it turned up, and it didn't work out that was.

​Q. How would rate your tackling today?
KIRK FERENTZ: Poor. You were at the game, right? That was a big part of our problem today, and you can't play good defense if you don't tackle well, and I that was thought pretty evident today.

​Q. You had two defenders that were out, Morris and Hitchens. What was the cause of that?
KIRK FERENTZ: Illness and a little bit of an injury and that type of thing. That's football, and I'm sure they've got guys out, too.

​Q. Your offense, do you think it's easy to prepare for?
KIRK FERENTZ: Well, if we don't block better, throw better, run better routes and run better, that's the name of the game. It's execution, it's about playing well fundamentally, and that's kind of what I was trying to hint at, particularly in the first  talking about our first half, we just weren't playing well enough. They weren't coached well enough, and that's fundamentals and didn't play hard enough to expect to win.

​Q. Are you weighing most of that or all of that on execution?
KIRK FERENTZ: I'm always a big believer in execution, and it's  I guess my vantage point on that one is it's easy, however many yards we had today weren't enough. That really doesn't explain the series where we did drive the ball, and we have driven the ball over the last several weeks but we haven't done it consistently enough. Part of that is your opponent. I'm not just going to put them up and knock them down like bowling pins; part of that is your opponent.

​But also it's operating at the highest proficiency. Play calling has got something to do with everything, but I think our execution, I'm going off 13 plus years here, that's typically what it usually comes down to after games, it's usually what it comes down to on Saturdays. When you start going back to early on in the season, that's what it down to usually is we didn't execute well, and that's kind of how I looked at this game.

​Q. (Inaudible) couldn't stop the run but they stopped 
KIRK FERENTZ: They've got some big guys up there. They've got experienced guys. Both those guys inside, the state of Indiana is well represented. I don't know  in fact I do know, Notre Dame has got good guys inside, too. We don't play them but I've seen them on film. But the two teams we've played have very stout and good football players in that defensive tackle slot. So I'd give them credit, I do give them credit, they played well.

​We're not as stout right now as we've been in the past, so we'll just  nobody is going to come in and  we're not going to get any free agent players coming in this weekend. We're going to play with the guys that we have and try to get better, try to avoid some of those negative yardage plays and run routes better, catch better, throw it better and run the ball better, too.

​Q. We knew this was a young team at the beginning of the year and some execution fundamental issues that you expected, but did you expect that that would still be a problem 10 weeks in?
KIRK FERENTZ: I would counter that and just tell you that I thought we played pretty good in our opening game of the Big Ten. I thought we played pretty well the next week, too, against a very good football team. It's not like this has just been a dog crap team. You don't want to paint that picture, I'm not buying that. We played good football against Minnesota, we played very good football at Michigan State in very tough circumstances.

​And our guys competed in that second half. We were playing to win, and we gave ourselves a chance to win, but you've got to play both halves, and that's  to me in a nutshell that's it.

​Q. After those first two, Minnesota and Michigan State 
KIRK FERENTZ: You were paying attention, right? You're not serious, are you?

​Q. Well, you're pointing back to the first two games, but you've lost four in a row. It seems like this team is going backwards.
KIRK FERENTZ: Yeah, it is, because we have not moved the ball the way we had, so I'll let you connect the dots on that one.

​Q. Is the offense getting worse?
KIRK FERENTZ: Well, we've lost how many in a row, so what would that suggest? What I'm suggesting is we played pretty well against Minnesota and Michigan State, and we haven't played as well. We've had our chances to win the last couple weeks, but we weren't there. But today the first half we didn't give ourselves a chance. I'll sign on that one. I'll sign on that one.

​Q. The fullback, on the 4th and 3, is that the primary read on that play?
KIRK FERENTZ: Most plays have a couple reads. There are plays where you just send two guys out or one guy out, like the one we threw it to the guy in the end zone, we had one eligible receiver on that play, but most plays that we run have at least three guys involved, and coverage dictates where the ball goes. That's usually how the passing game works, whether it be one guy out, two guys out, three or five. That's just the way it goes.

​Q. You haven't been the same really since losing Brandon Scherff.
KIRK FERENTZ: It's not quite as simple as that I don't think. Brandon is a good football player, so any time you lose a good football player it impacts you. But good teams have to find a way to overcome that. You guys want to connect the dots, we haven't been good enough to overcome some of the injuries or obstacles, and that's the way it goes.

​But we're ready to go back to work tomorrow and see what we can do to overcome some of those things. What we could have controlled today, we didn't play good in the first half, and they did.

​FastScripts by ASAP

  • OK, and he takes the blame for a 4-8 season.

    Then what? It's gonna be worse in 2013 -- OSU and Wisconsin on the schedule.

  • Morrison71

  • He needs to resign! This isnt going to get better anytime soon. Im sure what recruits we do have will defect soon. This is the crash of the program and he is not the man to bring it back!!!
    This is the worst Iowa team since his first one and maybe the one in Haydens time when Paul Burmeister was QB.

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  • fuisu

    My analogy on KF is: when we have good teams it's like we are a pretty girl that doesn't wear make up or dress up but you can tell she is still cute. When we have bad teams we are like an ugly chick that doesn't even try to be pretty............... If you understand that analogy you'll understand the KF problem.

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  • HawkiBrad55

    I undersand you would get an upvote if I had any. I will be back at midnight to hit ya up

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    Gold medals aren't really made of gold. They're made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts.

  • I give you an up vote.

    I gave the same analogy to a friend a few weeks back, but used the Ferentz analogy about "not being the prettiest car on the lot" which he said himself years ago.

    Ferentz doesn't even want to try to be the Bentley of football. He's happy being an old Datsun that sometimes runs well and sometimes doesn't.

    This post was edited by u2Hawk 17 months ago

  • HawkiBrad55

    It just almost makes me sick to read/listen to post game losses, even more so against bad teams. It is always the same thing "they played better,we weren't ready,they wanted it more" You know after hearing these things 100 censoreding times wouldn't one think to maybe make sure we PLAY HARDER,COME PREPARED,AND WANT TO WIN!!!!. I mean for the love of god why say things like that for 1 and for 2 if it is a weekly occurrence do something to change it. I mean I am sorry I have always supported Kirk but I just can't handle those things for an answer and the product that is on the field. I don't expect a national championship but I do expect a decent bowl game every year,and not losing to bottom feeders constantly, we should be that good year in and out. Even in down years we shouldn't lose to CMU,Purdue,Indiana etc. It just makes me sad the program I love with a lot of passion has fell so low and to have lame excuses to boot,it is like getting kicked in the face when you are already knocked out on the floor.

    The only thing I can say I had respect for was he finally took the blame as he should have many times in the past. Ok sorry for the vent I am done now. And even though this year sucks GO HAWKS!!!!

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    Gold medals aren't really made of gold. They're made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts.

  • I'll start by saying that I'm glad the lambasting of KF following press conferences isn't as bad here as it is on some of the other sites. With that said, Einstein was quoted as saying that the definition of insanity is "doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result." To that, I'll venture a new question, "Do any of you who read Kirk Ferentz's press conference transcripts honestly expect him to single out a person, coach, position group, or anything that might emphasize that some, or someone, might be responsible, good or bad, for the outcome in a game?" In 13+ years, I haven't heard it, and I don't expect it to start now. I can understand venting frustrations about "cookie cutter" answers about execution and wanting it more, but the truth is that what he is saying is true, just not what we want to hear. I think any play executed perfectly by all 11 guys will be successful, even if the other team knows its coming. Every player on every play has a responsibility of course, and when done correctly, leads to positive plays. When we lose to the likes of Indiana, Cental Michigan's, etc., people's knee jerk reaction when taking an outside perspective towards the situation is to want to see head's roll! They want Tanner Miller called out and criticized, bashed, stoned and what not infront of every reporter, TV camera, message board enthusiast and the rest for not being able to tackle or whatever the case may be, thinking that if this doesn't happen, he'll never know how bad he played. (Just using Miller as an example of course, but could be applied in real life in some regard) The breakdown of every play is not as simple as looking at results. It is much more complex, something often spoken of by Ferentz and discarded by most as coach speak. Unless you sit in on the meetings and study the playbooks, you would never be able to fully understand why somethings happen throughout a game, and if your waiting for Ferentz to say, "James was supposed to throw the 10 yard curl to CJF on that 4th down instead of the 1 yard out to Derby. Not sure what he was thinking there," because it seems like some want it to be that cut and dry. As fans, were all invested, some more than others, but none more than Ferentz, the staff, and the players.

    It leads me to my next question, does anyone here think they are more invested in the outcome of these games then Kirk Ferentz is? And if so, I would love to hear how you might think this is true. Questioning tactics, play calls, personnel groupings, referee calls, etc., you name it, its free fire on an internet message board. But, when your invested into something on a day to day basis, every single day of your life, the way Kirk Ferentz, his staff and his players are, you learn to choose your words carefully when spoken in the public forum. I would venture a guess that if any of us had the opportunity to sit in that locker room during half time of the game today, many of us would have a different perspective on how Kirk Ferentz thinks these games are won and loss. But we won't ever see that side of Ferentz, for good reason. That type of speech is reserved for those within the program for a reason.
    I don't mean to call out any one person for ranting after another "so-called" unacceptable loss, but more to emphasize the coach speak aspect of the job, and how its utilized on an individual basis. Hear at Iowa, we have three very unique personalities that all use different methods when addressing the media in Ferentz, McCaffery, and Brands. This is not a cry to back off Ferentz, but more or less just a nudge to realize that the staff and players are more than aware of whats going on, despite whats said at the press conference. Do yourselfs a favor, save yourselves some meds, and don't read it if your expecting anything other than coach speak from Ferentz.

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  • One season is not indication of the next. Take a look at Oregon St, they were horrible last year...

  • It's a double-edged sword with coaches in general. Each has a different demeanor and philosophy when dealing with players and the media. You don't want a coach who is a raving lunatic on the sidelines and throws everybody under a bus at the pressors, but you also don't want a coach who is so guarded with the public that they give the appearance of someone who either doesn't care what's going on, or worse, doesn't realize what's going on.

    I've always been a staunch supporter of KF, not necessarily because I think he's a great coach, but more because I believe as a program, Iowa couldn't do much better. In that analysis, you have to rule out coaches who would come in and use the program as a stepping-stone. He's been a solid but unspectacular coach over the years, who is far from perfect.

    That said, I would like to see something in-between with him. I truly believe that fans feel more connected with coaches who show some emotion, good or bad, at times. That applies to in-games and the pressors. You can be frank about a player who struggled without coming across as cruel, and it doesn't hurt to get in a players face every now and then on the sidelines after a bone-headed play. One, it shows the players that mediocrity will not be acceptable, and, two, it shows the fans that you are into the game. Of the current Iowa coaches, Fran in particular has struck a nice balance with this.

    What has to be eating at Ferentz this season is the lack of tangible results after his so-called intensive review of the entire program in the off-season. By all accounts, he and the staff went back to the drawing board and analyzed and tweaked just about everything within the program. It has to be disheartening to have this kind of result after all that effort, and you have to wonder what his mindset will be for this next off-season. Normally, I would expect little in the way of major changes, just knowing how Ferentz operates, but after losing the last six games of the season, which I expect will happen, I now wouldn't be surprised to see more turnover or maybe even a resignation.

  • 3.85 Million a year gets a a 4-8 season that followed a 7-6 season. Awesome.

  • Coachspeak isn't the issue. Have been hearing the same ish out da mouth of my (soon to be ex) NFL leader for the better part of 15 years.

    Coaching incompetence at every level is the issue. Frustration for fans here is that the exorcism isn't looking to be as easy in IC.

  • Good point, but we sure need a new OC.

    And I hope our next QB is a pleasant surprise.

  • If our coach knew anything about coaching we would know what our next QB had because we would have seen him this year. He should be fired for this alone!!! The only team in the BIG to NOT play the back up QB and one of the few teams in the country. This is nothing other than poor coaching and not having his teams best interests at hand. He is afraid JR will come in and do well and then he will really take heat for not pulling JVB!

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  • Going into yesterday's games, I read that JVB ranked No. 18 in the conference in TD passes.

    Note: He might've moved up a notch or two after yesterday's TD pass.

  • Hawkifish

    I can tell you now that is absolutely and unequivocally false. As Hwkfan4life said, no one is more invested in this team than Ferentz. He will undoubtedly play the guys he feels give Iowa the best chance to win. Whether or not he's right in who gives Iowa the best chance to win is up for debate, but his desire to win isn't.

    This post was edited by Hawkifish 17 months ago

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  • HawkiBrad55

    Sorry but that is not always true bro but that isn't my issue or complaint. I do agree though he does care greatly(more than anyone) it is not like he is intentionally trying to lose to the worst teams in the land frequently,I just hate the lame answers and if it is true week in and out they he failed to prepare the team then he is not doing his job. I mean seriously am I right or wrong here? Is his job not to prepare his team and motivate them to win? I would hope to think that is exactly what his job is and if he is not getting it done then he needs to change something.

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    Gold medals aren't really made of gold. They're made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts.

  • Hawkifish

    Oh I don't disagree, I think a lot of the lack of preparation falls on the shoulders of the head coach. I was just saying that it doesn't make sense for justifying Rudock not playing as Ferentz being afraid he'll do well.

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  • To say that Ferentz would intentionally not give a player reps because he is fearful that he may actually play well is ludicrous, but, I think the point that Ferentz should consider subbing in and out more frequently for the betterment of the team is a valid one.

    I go back and forth on this one to some degree. I do agree with Ferentz that it's important to play the guys who give you the best chance to win, but, it also could be argued that sitting players occasionally who are struggling, and bringing in the backups, gives you the best chance to win from more of a big-picture standpoint. Will it help in that particular game? Maybe not, but it may very well help to form a better team moving forward as a season goes on, and in subsequent seasons as well.

    I am 100% confident that the majority of coaches in the FBS would have sat JVB on several occasions, if not for a game, perhaps a series or two, to send a message. Even if the back-up comes in and struggles, the message is sent to the entire team - your job is always tenuous and reliant upon how you perform on Saturdays. I'm not necessarily a big fan of Brian Kelly, but this is exactly how he has built N.D. into a top-five team this season: you don't perform on the field, you sit. And, he's not afraid to get in the face of any player, particularly the QB, when they make bad decisions. Obviously, this can go too far as well, but good coaches understand how to walk that threshold.

  • Exactly what I was thinking while reading that rather long rant from HwkFn.

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  • HawkiBrad55

    I guess I never said anything about that I was just more talking about the way he goes about saying things etc. What I think Iowa needs ( I know it don't matter what I think BUT) I think both OC and DC should be fired yesterday, Phil isn't a pimple on Norm's rear end, our D is a shadow of what it looked like under Norm,even when we did not have the greatest defenses the guys weren't missing tackles all game and always contained and knew what there assignments were and did them, I thought Phil was a bad hire right away but figured if he could do at least what Norm did we would be okay,well he isn't doing it. And Davis needs to go back to Texas where he belongs and if they want to hire from with in (and I wanted this hire anyway) give Soup a try and Kirk needs to not be involved with the Offense period or D for that matter. He needs to do what he does best develop players and be a Head Coach and spend more time recruiting.
    We have been the same team for ever and it is time to bring it to the 21st century.

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    Gold medals aren't really made of gold. They're made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts.

  • HawkiBrad55

    Oh Herk you know you love reading 8 mile posts biggrin

    signature image signature image signature image

    Gold medals aren't really made of gold. They're made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts.

  • Hawkifish

    You never said that, but franfan did.

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  • HawkiBrad55

    Lol ok just wanted to b clear

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    Gold medals aren't really made of gold. They're made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts.

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