Kirk Ferentz took to the podium Tuesday to recap last week's loss at Michigan and next week's game against Penn State under the lights. Yes, it feels like this game is really important to the rest of the season. Yes, I think he knows it, too, which is why Tuesday's presser was particularly useless. (As always, transcript and video available at Hawkeye Nation).
Iowa seems to finally be getting close to healthy in the secondary. Matt Hankins is back at work; Ferentz says "he has a chance to be available," whatever that means. Ferentz wouldn't commit to starting Hankins if he's available. I think they're relatively happy with D.J. Johnson so far.
No other updates in Ferentz's presser, and I'd expect guys who were out for Michigan will remain out for Penn State.
Depth Chargin' Forward
Tyler Goodson made his first appearance on the two-deep -- well, three-deep -- this week, and it's not by accident.
Just watch what we’ve been doing, right, Goodson has been getting a lot of work. He has done a good job. We are not disappointed with Ivory, either.
We have four guys, and to your point, it’s probably tough to rotate four guys, or at least have them do the kinds of things we want them to do. I think right now we are probably more focused on those top three and kind of play it week-by-week.
Kelly-Martin is still listed on the kickoff return team, but as mentioned by someone on Twitter, he wasn't actually on the field last week despite being listed in the same spot. He's appeared in four games so far this season. There's no mention of an injury. So...redshirt?
The Defense Rests
Look, I get why this bit of coachspeak came into existence Tuesday, but give me a break:
[The defense] played well, but not well enough. We didn’t win the game. If we shut them out, we’d be 5-0 right now, so that’s the bottom line. At end of the day, that’s the challenge is play well enough to win, whether it’s 3-0 or 38-39, it doesn’t really matter. The objective is to win the football game, somehow, some way.
First off, the defense held the opponent to ten points, and only gave up a touchdown on a short field off a turnover. When your philosophy is bend-don't-break and field position, short-field scores aren't really on the defense. I could live with the basic sentiment -- we're not taking moral victories here -- if it weren't for the follow-up:
To your point, we for the most part played pretty solid defense. We gave up one big play. It wasn’t a blown coverage or anything like that. We had a guy right there competing for the ball, and their guy made a good play and it was a good throw. Got good protection on it. We did a lot of positive things. We did positive things on offense, too.
We are five weeks into it right now. We have done some good things offensively, so I think the idea right now is to get back up on our field and see if we can’t build off that.
That offense was a tire fire Saturday. Iowa had one yard rushing on a defense; the quarterback getting sacked repeatedly nullified all but one yard of the rushing offense. That same quarerback threw three interceptions, and Sargent lost a fumble deep in Michigan territory. Saturday was an offensive disaster, and trying to go full-on bothsidesisms in a 10-3 loss is absurd.
I Got This One, Coach
Q. What’s happened with the switch to flip — in the 2000s, you won the vast majority of games against them and then in the 2010s, it’s been the opposite. Has there been anything that’s pushed them ahead?
FERENTZ: I can’t answer that, really. I can look at things game-to-game, basically. In 2012 it wasn’t very competitive. I remember that distinctly.
I can tell you why, Coach! It's because Joe Paterno isn't there anymore, and Penn State isn't running the same win-by-three approach that Iowa's used for the last 17 years.
You're welcome. I'll be here next week if you need anything.
Useless Sound Montage
- "That’s really representative of the way the team played, but the bottom line is we didn’t play well enough."
- "It’s a long season. We’re in it for the long haul."
- "They come in here, they are really doing well."
- "When you score three points, it’s fair to say, probably traditionally, no matter what your offense is or what year it is, any time you score three points, it’s not what you want." (I love this one so much.)
- "Losses are losses. They stink."
- "You can’t have a glass jaw in this sport, and really you can’t have a glass jaw in anything that’s competitive and hard to do."
- "So the answer to the question: The secret is what can you do to move forward."
- "Won’t hurt but it’s not going to ruin our day if it happens or not happens."
- "I think George Allen was coaching, put the year to that, ’70s, when I used to read Sports Illustrated — they still make Sports Illustrated? I don’t even know. Magazines are way out of fashion, right."