Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz says the level of competition jumps significantly this week as the Hawkeyes prepare for Saturday’s visit to Iowa State. The Hawks opened the season with a 34-7 win over Tennessee Tech and will be in search of their fourth straight win over the Cyclones.
Ferentz says it is a big game for both teams and Ames is a tough place to play and he expects the Cyclones and their fans to be “intense.” He says his team has not yet encountered playing a big game on the road.
Ferentz says the Hawks need to make progress before Saturday. He says the most disappointing thing was the four fumbles, as he says they won’t win consistently if they turn the ball over. Feerentz says the rivalry is important for both schools and is confident the series will continue even when the Big Ten Conference switches to a nine game league schedule.
Ferentz says it is one week were people are talking border-to-border about the game and “And I think that’s fantastic, and it would be a real shame I think if it every go discontinued, it’s all good.” He says they will play U.N.I. in the future and says Iowa is a good football state and it’s a good thing to have the teams play each other.
This will be Iowa’s first road test of the season but quarterback James Vandenberg has been in a hostile environment before. Two year ago he played at Ohio State in a game that decided the Big Ten title. Ferentz says traveling to I.S.U. is like going to the toughest places in the Big Ten, so Vandenberg will be okay, but it could be interesting for the other players.
Ferentz says I.S.U. quarterback Steele Jantz got better as the game against U.N.I. progressed. He says Jantz struggled for three quarters, but in the end he did what he needed to do to win the game.
Ferentz says this is the most talented team that Paul Rhoads has had at Iowa State.