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KIRK SPEAKS: MICHIGAN

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Remember Iowa-Arizona State in ‘04? Kirk does!

Iowa v Penn State Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

There’s really not much to say after getting absolutely manhandled in a football game. Every team in the country has a blueprint to beat Iowa (not that Michigan really needs one) and everyone knows it.

Everyone except Kirk, that is: (emphasis ours)

Q. Penn State's running back after the game just said you could see they didn't want to be out there anymore. Sometimes I'm sure that happens with teams where you get down so far that you've kind of lost the will as much as anything, but there's a fine line between that and quit. Do you see that as just a situation where they kind of got out of hand and it wasn't quitting, or do you have any concerns about that?

I'm not offering any commentary. One thing I always try to be very careful of and really encourage our players to be careful of is speaking for other people. I think that's a really dangerous thing. I didn't read that quote, but I'm guessing if you were at Arizona State after the game in '04, maybe you were, probably a few of their players probably said the same thing. That was the worst beating I think I've been involved with, yet I think you look at the 2004 football team, first word that would come to mind for me would be heart. That was what that team was all about...

Again, just going back to the point I made earlier about teams dividing, that's certainly a byproduct of losing sometimes. It happens. I've seen that, witnessed it. It's no fun to be around. Or your guys pull together and you keep working hard towards a common goal, and that's what this thing is about.

To answer your question, I have not witnessed anything, but I don't see all, do all, but I see a lot.

If you didn’t see it, then it didn’t happen! Old hockey trick right there.


We always knew Ferentz was stuck in his ways, but I mean this quote just further cements that he isn’t watching other teams around the country.

Q. Your last six losses dating back to last season, you guys have been held to less than 100 yards rushing. Obviously that's not a coincidence. Is that a concern to you? Seems like everything starts with you guys' ability to run the ball. Typically when you don't win, you don't rush the ball well, and once you get behind it's hard to have a good attack.

I'll cite this example for you: I think, what was it, Auburn a couple weeks ago had 500 plus yards rushing in a win over Arkansas. Arkansas won the other day and held Florida to 12 rushing yards I think it was. That's why it's good to rush the ball well, and it's good to be ahead, too, so you have that opportunity.

Sure, having a rushing offense certainly helps, but forcing a square peg in a round hole isn’t exactly the answer all the time. Also, citing two very sub-par SEC teams to try and make your point isn’t exactly a game I think you want to be playing.

Q. Have you changed any of the mechanisms of offense? Is Greg still calling plays, or do you guys change anything as far as that goes? No, our mechanics are still the same, and we meet collectively daily, and same -- coaches all go through the same process the players do. Sunday we go back and review, talk about the what-ifs, those types of things, and then Sunday afternoon we flip it over and start moving forward on the next opponent, so we're still going the same way.

Oh, the offense is keeping everything the same? And the definition of insanity is what again?


I think this was sort of a baity-for-the-wrong-reasons question, mostly because 1. Michigan is really really good and Jim Harbaugh is really really strange, and 2. do you think Ferentz knows who won the World Series?

Q. Your opposing coach this week, he took time out in game week yesterday to go to a campaign rally. Last week he traveled to a World Series game. Are there any circumstances imaginable that you would do something like that? You know, outside of a funeral or someone being ill, I can't think of any time in my life I've ever done anything, but that's just -- we're all different, and we all do things differently, and we're all creatures of habit probably in some ways, but basically I've just tried to focus on what it is I do, and I'll say this, it doesn't seem to affect their performance. They've looked pretty good on the film I've seen.

At least he’s bothered by something.

Q. You've had issues in the passing game before. It's not unusual. But the rush defense is something that probably bothers you more I would assume.

Absolutely.

*Snooooooooooooort*


Now this ... this is interesting. Can someone look up to see if this is true? As someone who has lived through Bountygate, I really don’t like seeing things of this nature.

Q. Michigan has knocked like eight or nine quarterbacks out of games this year. Do you have to get more protection --KIRK FERENTZ: That I didn't know, okay, so thanks for sharing that with me. No, I mean, they're very aggressive up front. They play a lot of guys. Their starters are really good, and the guys they're rolling in are good, and they're very aggressive defensively. You know, it just gets down to, hey, you want to get the ball out quickly in certain circumstances, certainly you want to be as smart as you can, but we also have to play good one-on-one football out there and contest these guys.

#Pray4CJ

And that’s it for the Q&A portion of Kirk Speaks. Now we bring you the history lesson, where Ferentz brought up Iowa’s shitshow of a game in 2004, where the #16 ranked Hawkeyes lost to an unranked Arizona State team that would go on to play in the Sun Bowl, 44-7.

Kirk brought up that game six different times during his presser. Five of those times were during questions, and the other was unprompted in his opening statement. Here’s all those instances, taken only slightly out of context! (Emphasis ours.)

The opener:

Starting Sunday, it's like we've been doing for a long time. You fall back on your basics, your fundamentals, and then whether it was losing 19 games in our first two seasons here, basically just playing really ineptly down at Arizona State in '04 or a couple years ago up at Minnesota. You come in on Sunday, you learn from the experience, you learn from the game tape, and then you move on and you get on to the next work.

Historical precedence!

When I look at our team and look at the way they operate, all you can do as a coach is ask them to do their best, and I think our guys are doing that. You know, the other night was very similar to Arizona State, only Arizona State was I think the most inept performance I've been around in 17 years.

This one is mentioned above:

I'm not offering any commentary. One thing I always try to be very careful of and really encourage our players to be careful of is speaking for other people. I think that's a really dangerous thing. I didn't read that quote, but I'm guessing if you were at Arizona State after the game in '04, maybe you were, probably a few of their players probably said the same thing. That was the worst beating I think I've been involved with, yet I think you look at the 2004 football team, first word that would come to mind for me would be heart. That was what that team was all about.

Sure, go back to ‘04. Aside from the Debacle in the Desert, that was a pretty good year for Iowa football.

KIRK FERENTZ: I'll go back to '04. If you've seen a worse offensive performance than Arizona State in '04, and not that we were juggernaut team that year, and we weren't. Offensively we were not a juggernaut team, but we did what we had to do to win.

And, it turns out that Iowa didn’t even watch the film from that ASU game, because clearly there was nothing to glean from that performance. Ferentz did confirm that they broke out the Penn State film from last week though.

To go through the film is not easy, especially when you go through it, and I'll go back to Arizona State. I'm not even sure if we looked at that one. But there were a lot of teachable moments in this film, so it was important we did it. We didn't belabor it by any stretch. I think that was important at this point, but we went through some teachable situations and then just tried to move on.

Carry on with your day.