Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz says the Hawkeyes view this season as a new start. After four consecutive January bowl games the Hawks have stumbled the past two seasons and are coming off a 6-6 record in 2007 that included a stunning loss at home to Western Michigan in the season finale that kept them out of a bowl game for the first time since 2000.

Ferentz says the past is the past, whether its doing something good or doing something bad. Ferentz says they faced a different dilema in 2002 and 2004 when they won Big Ten Championships, but still had to move on. Ferentz says you don’t forget your past, but you have to move on.

Ferentz calls this a young but experienced team and says the work began when recruiting ended. He says he hopes the team is judged on what they do, and he’s excited about what is ahead. Improvement begins with an offense that finished lasst in the Big Ten and a running game that ranked tenth in the conference.

Ferentz says they have enough experience and if everyone improves as much as they should, then they should have a good offensive team. He says you have to play good defense to win a championship, but you also have to be able to throw and run the ball.

Not only are the Hawkeyes out to regain their winning ways this season they also hope to improve an image which has been damaged by off the field problems. Ferentz says the best thing they can do is do what they are supposed to do on the field and in the classroom. He says with the off the field and on the field problems, they’ve been pretty firm in the way they’ve handled it.

Junior quarterback Jake Christensen believes the Hawks can keep their off the field problems from becoming a distraction. He says it’s hard to read things every day about the team when you’re trying to improve the image of the team. Christensen says it’s disheartening to see continued incidents, but they are not going to let it affect them.

Christensen believes added experience will help the offense become more productive. He says will all the guys back there’s no where to go but up.

Christensen says he expects to be more consistent this season. He says he didn’t play as well as he should have last year, and says there’s nothing wrong with that as it was a learning experience.

Iowa opens on August 30th at home against Maine.