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KIRK SPEAKS: IOWA AT RUTGERS

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Time to fast forward to Saturday

NCAA Football: North Dakota State at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Alrighty then. Was there a football game last weekend? I didn’t even notice.

Ignorance aside, Kirk Ferentz realized his team ate a shit sandwich the other day—as he should have—and for once I’m OK with how he responded to reporters following an indefensible loss, but I’ll get to that later.

There’s not much else to glean from Tuesday’s presser besides a few fun tidbits. I didn’t know Ben Niemann’s dad was the defensive coordinator at Rutgers until just now, and had no idea Rutgers head coach Chris Ash has ties to just about every college football program in the state of Iowa—except for the University of Iowa. And then there’s AJ Blazek, who played offensive line at Iowa under Ferentz from 2001-01, then was a G.A. for the Hawkeyes until 2004.

Kirk mentioned other fun anecdotes, like the time when he was the head coach at Maine in 1991, and had a 485-mile bus ride back to campus after his team got whooped by Rutgers 40-17.

Injury-wise, it sounds like James Daniels and Sean Welsh will be back, and I think Akrum Wadley truly was more injured than Kirk let on after reading Morehouse’s Quick Slants. Hopefully he’s full-go for this weekend.

And lastly, we had some THAT’S FOOTBALL sightings in the presser this week. We’ll let you find those on your own. (or not. Emphasis ours)

Anytime you're missing guys that are starters, they're starters for a reason, but again, we talked about that Saturday. That's going to be part of football. You know, if you want to go back to last year, last year's team really did a nice job of navigating a lot of tricky situations that way. Typically when you have a really good season, you go through pretty clean injury-wise, and that was hardly the case, as all of us know, last year. How you handle those kinds of situations, a tough call or a bad bounce of the ball, those kinds of things, THAT’S FOOTBALL, and really that determines success, how you can navigate through those things.

We didn't do it well enough Saturday. I'm expecting both Sean and James to be back in there, but if they're not, then the guys that are in there have to get it done, and hopefully they're play at a better level this week than they did last week, and hopefully that's true of our entire football team.

Kirk addressed Wadley’s injury, but again, I think he might be keeping it a little mum. His explanation for his lack of snaps against NDSU last week is also semi-satisfying, which is too bad because I prefer just blindly criticizing football coaches who earn boatloads of money from my keyboard.

Q. Is Akrum's injury affecting the amount of touches he's getting?

Not really. I mean, we had under 50 gradable snaps the other day, so it limits everybody's touches, unfortunately, and in a perfect world we're going to be moving ball a little bit better and sustaining some drives. Third down, certainly we've got to do a better job there.

Kirk went on to say he expects Wadley to be full speed this week, so there’s that.


Now, here’s where Kirk had to answer a couple of somewhat-tough questions about the NDSU loss.

Q. After you leave the stadium, go home, is it different for you for a win versus a loss? Does it eat at you and you start checking the video right away?

It always eats at you, and there were a couple plays I wanted to come back and look at right away. But Saturday we blew a great opportunity from a personal standpoint. But you've got an 11:00kickoff, you're at home, you've got a chance to enjoy that nice long afternoon/evening, and quite frankly you don't feel like doing anything, and I never feel like doing anything anyway, but I didn't feel like doing anything with anybody around on Saturday. It's just not much fun.

IT’S NOT FUN FOR THE BLOGGERS EITHER

Not once during the 2012 campaign did Ferentz express this kind of emotion and reaction to a loss, which is good. I hope he felt this poorly after Saturday’s game, and still does, because he should.


I like the idea of Kirk re-watching the NDSU game tape until 4 in the morning on Sunday, reliving that pain over and over to really let it set in. Oh man that’s so football coach cliché I love it.

Q. Did you go to the video after the game or do you wait until the next morning?

Typically if we win, usually I'll wait, but when you lose, you typically look at at least several plays, and you don't feel any better. In fact you probably feel worse. But at least it clarifies maybe what you thought happened, did happen. You still feel bad.

And finally, the question someone in the media had to ask a week after its relevancy: how would Kirk feel if one of his players took a knee during the National Anthem?

That's a really tricky topic, as we all know. I would hope they'd come to me and let's talk about it first. My preference, I'm not saying it's a mandate, my preference is that we all be unified, be it our uniforms on the field, how we do things, certainly how we stand for the National Anthem. That would be my preference. But that's in a perfect world.

But the biggest thing is I'd hope we could have some discussion, and a national commentary -- I'd like to think there are better ways to voice how we feel about things.

Pretty milquetoast answer there. I’d be more interested in what Chris Doyle might have to say on the matter.