Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz says it was his decision to have the Hawkeyes punt late in Saturday’s loss. Trailing 24-21 with just under five minutes remaining the Hawkeyes faced a fourth and inches from their own 28 yard line. Instead of going for it the Hawks punted and by the time the offense got the football back they were at their own 20 with 18 seconds remaining.
“You go on what you think is best, kind of like every decision you make, what is best for the team at that given moment,” Ferentz explains. “Every situation is different. It’s kind of like we were talking about earlier about your game planning and the way you do things. It’s week to week. How is the team playing? How are they executing? Who is in the lineup? Those types of things. You’re probably going to be right half the time..’
Ferentz says the Hawkeyes were going to run a quick snap with a quarterback sneak until officials stopped the game to review the previous play and that is when he changed his mind. Despite a three game losing streak Ferentz says he is sticking with senior quarterback James Vandenberg.
He was asked at his weekly press conference if redshirt freshman Jake Rudock would see the field this season. “Vandenberg is our starter and the reason he has been playing is I think he gives us the best chance to win, and that’s my sole motivation. So, I don’t see that changing,” Ferentz says.
Ferentz says the Hawkeyes are being plagued by a lack of execution and a lack of consistency. “We’ve got to execute better, in the critical situations especially, but it’s a team thing. We win as a team typically and lose as a team and we are not quite there,” he says.
Iowa hosts Purdue this Saturday. The Boilermakers came into the season with high hopes but have dropped five straight games and stand 3-6 overall. Ferentz says Purdue has had some disappointment, but has played some games where they had a realistic chance of winning, such as Ohio State.