Another win over little brother, another week where a beaming Kirk Ferentz addresses the media with candor and non-answers and references to a bygone era.
I’ll lead with the biggest news of the week: starting right tackle Ike Boettger is out for the season with an Achilles injury. This means Sean Welsh is sliding one spot over, while Keegan Render is moving from left guard to right, and Ross Reynolds is filling in at left guard off the bench. I’m not sure what’s driving the shuffling, but I’m going to trust the staff here.
Ferentz goes into the Boettger injury in greater detail later on. Let’s get to it:
Q. With Boettger's injury, does that change your thinking on Tristan?
KF: I think it just pushes him forward. We've been leaning in that direction anyway, so right now we just have to plan like he will play at some point because we're really running out of depth. It's not like we've got a lot of that. So we've been practicing with him on the second team, pushing him forward as if he were going to play. He had an injury, latter part of camp which really set him back and put him in a funk for about a week, but he's coming out of that and making progress, so hopefully we'll get him ready.
Q. How ready is he to being a college tackle?
KF: There are some things he does very well, and at times he does things extremely well. But the consistency factor is the biggest part. He was almost doing too well until he got hurt. It was about a week, but a week might as well have been a month. It just seemed like that because it really set him back. Now we've seen him climb the ladder here a little bit the last two weeks.
So there you have it. Wirfs probably won’t redshirt, and we very well could have a couple of teenagers at tackle by the end of the year.
But maybe not, pending the recovery timeline of...
Q: Is Boone Myers 100 percent?
KF: Boone's gaining ground right now. The only good news right now, certainly it's good news. At least Boone is gaining ground right now and you'll see him play more and more with each week. Based on what I've seen the last two weeks, I think we're starting to get where we want to get.
Myers is listed as the backup at left tackle and left guard on this week’s depth chart, so he must be at least decently healthy, right?
There was literally only one question asked about North Texas, so here it is:
Q. How do you game plan for North Texas and a quarterback who had 400 yards last week?
KF: He's a really good player. Watching him on tape, he reminds me of McGloin from Penn State five years ago. I tell you, a lot of their skill guys, they're not big guys, but he's a really good quarterback. He makes good decisions. He's fast, efficient, he'll run the ball, throws it where it needs to go. He gets it there quickly. So, if you leave somebody open, he's going to find that guy and get the ball there pretty effectively. So it's going to be a big challenge for us.
If *looks up North Texas’ QB* Mason Fine has 400 yards against Iowa, we’re gonna be in for a rude awakening next week!
YOU’LL NEVER GUESS WHO THIS WEEK’S ARCHAIC KIRK REFERENCE POINTS TO:
Q. Akrum said that you gave him tapes of Ronnie Harmon. I'm curious as to why, and how does he compare to Ron 32, 33 years later?
KF: The comparison there would be Akrum does some stuff with the ball in his hands that none of us can coach. We'd love to, but you can't coach or give that to a guy. Ronnie was the same way. I think they're similar in the fact that Ronnie's one of the tougher, more competitive guys I've ever been around anywhere at any place I've ever coached. I mean, he was a tough-minded guy.
Akrum likes playing. That was a full day's work he got in the other day. Probably more than he needed, but we needed him. That last touchdown he scored, that was a lot of individual effort, and Ronnie had some of those similarities too.
Ronnie wasn't as skinny as Akrum, and part of my thinking there would be we'd like to wear you out this year just like we wore Harmon out in '85, and that was good coaching, by the way. So that's kind of the plan there. We need you to be this kind of guy that we can really give the ball to a lot.
I mean, Ronnie Harmon was one of the greatest players I've ever been around. You think of the way he impacted that team. I mean, we had a good football team, but he was a big, big part of that.
RONNIE F-ING HARMON. If you picked him over the long-snapper from Pitt in ‘77 then you win all the internet points.
And notice that little backhanded compliment or comment or whatever Kirk throws at Akrum about his playing weight. YEAH MAYBE IF AKRUM HAD A LITTLE MORE MEAT ON HIS BONES HE’D BE MORE LIKE RONNIE.
We think you’re perfect just the way you are, Akrum.
Some scheduling news happened yesterday. TL;DR: we dumped the Black Friday game with Nebraska, and we open the 2021 season at home against Indiana, for some reason.
So of course the media asked about it, and of course the Big Ten doesn’t take frivolous things like the opinions of coaches and players into account when making decisions that mostly impact coaches and players.
Q. Another future scheduled question; it looks like you're playing Big Ten games early in September. Do you have any thoughts on that?
KF: It's just like playing on Thanksgiving. It's all a sign of the times. There are powers that are way higher than my level that decide all this stuff.
Q. But they don't talk to you about that?
KF: No, they don't talk to me about stuff like that. Even if they did, they wouldn't listen (laughing).
That says Kirk was laughing there, but you know it was really more like.
And that’s that. Happy hump day!