The ninth ranked Iowa Hawkeyes will take on their first rated opponent of the season in their first road test when they visit 24th ranked Arizona under the lights on Saturday. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz says they have to handle the trip and they are playing a tough opponent, so they will need a good week of preparation to get ready.
Ferentz who expects defensive coordinator to miss the trip. Parker remains hospitalized and missed the Hawkeyes’ victory over Iowa State. He says they’ve been down the road before and they have a veteran staff that works well together. While he says they will miss Parker, they staff pulls together and does a good job and he expects that to happen.
Ferentz says both teams will get a lot of questions answered in this game. “None of us really know how good we are at this point, so this is going to be a heck of a test,” Ferentz says. He says they are a good team and his team hopes to be good, and they will find out if they are.
Ferentz says the offensive line has performed better than expected to this point. That unit lost three starters from last year. He says they expected the progress to be a little slower, but that doesn’t mean we are out of the woods yet. Ferentz says the group will continue to get better a the weeks go on and right now they are on the right path.
Even though Iowa is coming off a lopsided win Ferentz says their are areas of concern. He called the Hawks’ punt and kick coverage “pathetic”. He says the kickoff coverage was reminiscent against Minnesota a few years ago, which he says was “nonexistent.” Ferentz does not believe the weather will be a factor. Saturday’s projected high for Tucson is 103.
He says it would be more of a factor if they played in the daytime, as it would be much hotter then. Ferentz says it will be 90 at kickoff, but without the humidity, it won’t be as bad. Ferentz says they will adjust their pregame routine because of the late kickoff and their regular Friday night meetings will be held on Saturday.
He says any time they play a night game they talk about not playing the game during the day or the players will get exhausted before the game starts.