Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz hopes a weekly routine of cranking up the music at practice will help the Hawkeyes get ready for more than 107,000 fans in Beaver Stadium when they visit fifth ranked Penn State on Saturday night. Ferentz says during each Wednesday practice the Hawkeyes workout with the speakers blaring.
Ferentz says they just started that a year ago as he says for a long time he thought it was “all garbage,” but says it was something they did back in the 80’s and in the NFL. Ferentz says he doesn’t know if if helps or not, but if it does, it is good.
The Hawkeyes are 3-0 after a 27-17 win over Arizona and Ferentz says his team is battle tested heading into the start of the Big Ten race. He says it was a tough football that was even and they had to play hard every snap and respond during the game. Ferentz says he doesn’t know if the tough game will help them this week, but he says it will benefit them down the road.
The Hawkeyes spoiled Penn State’s run at a national championship a year ago with a 24-23 victory but Ferentz is not concerned about the Nittany Lions being motivated by revenge. Ferentz says you can say that any time someone loses a game. He says Penn State’s players have talked about it, but he says if they hadn’t won last year, Penn State would still want to beat them this year, so he doesn’t think it will be a huge factor.
Offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga, tight end Tony Moeaki and receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos all missed the Arizona game due to injury or illness and Ferentz is not sure if they will be ready by this weekend. He says that’s the nature of injuries and you have to go with it and if they are able to play, then it is a bonus.
Ferentz says the Iowa defense made significant progress against Arizona, and he says it started up front with the front four, which he says is important with their defense. Iowa lost at Penn State 27-7 two years ago but Ferentz coached teams had won three straight in Beaver Stadium prior to that.
Ferentz says if you’re going to win against Penn State you have to play your best football and if you aren’t then you can lose like they did two years ago.