Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz says junior quarterback Ricky Stanzi is healthy and will play in Tuesday night’s Orange Bowl against Georgia Tech. Stanzi missed the final two games of the regular season with an ankle injury but returned for bowl practice last month after undergoing surgery.
Ferentz says the first couple of workouts Stanzi was a little tentative and was trying to get his bearings, but he says the last couple of weeks he has looked good and they don’t anticipate any problems.
At his final pre-game news conference this morning Ferentz said The Hawkeyes are as healthy as they were heading into the season. He says other than those who have had surgery, they will have everybody back, including lineman Dace Richarson, who will play.
Ferentz says the Hawks have enjoyed their stay in Miami and now want to finish it the right way. He says it has been such a great experience and he can’t imagine they’ve had a better bowl experience. Ferentz says the hope now is that they go out and play in a way that represents this season.
An Iowa victory would complete an impressive bowl season for the Big Ten Conference which claimed two wins on New Years Day with Penn State in the Capitol One Bowl and Ohio State in the Rose Bowl. Ferentz says there’s been a lot of “Big Ten bashing” going on and says for example, last year’s Texas-Ohio State game, or Missouri-Northwestern could have gone either way.
The Big Ten is widely considered to be a conference that lacks speed and that deficiency always gets exposed in bowl games. Ferentz says the other theory is their layoff is too long between games, but he says that didn’t seem to affect Penn State or Ohio State, which both won. He says it all comes down to two teams playing.
Georgia Tech will be carrying the banner for the ACC after winning the conference title this season. Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson says any time you play in a bowl game you’re representing the conference and your school. Johnson who says the players are getting anxious for the game to start. He says they’ve enjoyed themselves and he says you can see the game is getting closer and the focus is getting more on the game.
Johnson says there is not much left for his team to do, as they will do a walk-through today and then take a team picture.