Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz says the Hawkeye defense needs to find a way to slow down a mobile quarterback. The Hawks could not get to I.S.U. quarterback Steele Jantz in last week’s triple overtime loss in Ames and they will see more of the same this weekend when they host Pittsburgh.
Ferentz says it gets down to the fundamental basics, as he says you can’t let the quarterback get out of the pocket regularly like they did against the Cyclones, or it will be tough against whoever they play.
Ferentz says good high school and junior high school teams understand that you have to contain, and they need to get it accomplished somehow. Ferentz says Saturday’s game exposed a number of weaknesses and they need to work hard to get them solved. He says “failing is education” and there is some benefit, but he says it’s not much fun. Ferentz says if they don’t learn and move forward, than “shame on us.”
Ferentz says an area of great concern for him is kickoff coverage as he says when they hit, they hit well, but when they missed, they missed badly. He says they can’t correct things defensively if they give up big returns and let the defense start on a short field.
Ferentz says another priority is developing depth at running back. Marcus Coker carried the ball 35 times at Iowa State. He says Jason White is the next guy in line and they are working on Damon Bullock after that.
Ferentz says he does not regret keeping the ball on the ground with just over a minute to go in regulation or taking the field goal instead of going for it on fourth and one at the 16 yard line in the third overtime. he says there were several arguments going through his mind, but he thought they would get a stop and keep them out of the end zone. “So, live and learn,” He said.