The Iowa Hawkeyes may be bowl eligible but that’s not good enough for coach Kirk Ferentz. Coming off a rousing upset of third rated Penn State the Hawkeyes take a 6-4 record into this weekend’s matchup against Purdue in their final home game of the season.
Ferentz says they were home with six wins without a bowl game last year sitting around the fireplace last Christmas with chestnuts roasting and all that stuff. “I’m not a big fan of eggnog, I’m hoping we can do a little better. We’re going to have to earn it, it’s going to be tough,” he says.
Purdue comes with a 3-7 mark and Ferentz says while the Hawks proved this past weekend they are capable of beating an outstanding opponent they have also proven this season they can lose to one that is struggling. Ferentz repeated what he said in the past that every game is winnable, and they have the chance to lose every game. He says he’ll stick with that concept.
The past two weeks Ricky Stanzi has shown the ability to rally the Hawks in the fourth quarter. Ferentz says the next step is eliminating the mistakes that put them behind. He says Stanzi has a good ability to move on from mistakes, unfortunately he says they’re talking about having to come from behind again. Ferentz says they had a happier outcome this week and want to work on cleaning up the mistakes.
The Boilermakers are struggling in the final season for coach Joe Tiller who is retiring an the end of the season. He says it’s a team they have a great respect for and the coaching staff. It will be the final home game for a small group of seniors that are led by defensive tackles Matt Kroul and Mitch King.
Ferentz says the highest compliment he can give them is their performance in the spring where he says they practiced like they were on the second team trying to win a job, and that set an example for the entire team.