Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz says he is more focused on getting his team ready to play Michigan than he is on the fallout from Saturday’s 22-21 loss at Minnesota. The Hawkeyes found a way to lose to a Gopher team that had been outscored by 113 points in its first three Big Ten games.
“We don’t ever want to disappoint our fans, and we appreciate our fans, nobody has better fans than us, home or away,” Ferentz says. He says the people that are pulling for them are “dieing a thousand deaths just like we did.”
Ferentz believes the special teams play is getting better even though Mike Myer missed two short field goals on Saturday and Minnesota recovered an onside kick that led to the winning touchdown. He says Meyer is a good kicker, and says everyone has games like that where they miss things.
Ferentz says he will take the blame for the onside kick that Minnesota recovered as he says he almost called a timeout before the kick.
Iowa’s run defense continues to struggle but Ferentz says the responsibility goes beyond the defensive line. He says the linebackers are important to stop the run too and he says they are working with what they have.
Ferentz says a big key in the loss at Minnesota was play in the red zone. He says they have done that well, but that was one thing Saturday where they came up short three times. Iowa’s defense ranks at the bottom of the Big Ten against the pass but Ferentz is more concerned about the 163 yards per game they are giving up on the ground.
He says that will be the number one focus, stopping the run, but he says the bad news is that Michigan is a good running team. Ferentz says it is not a lost cause and they don’t plan on surrendering. Under first year coach Brady Hoke the Wolverines are 7-1 and right in the thick of ther race in the Legends Division.
Ferentz says Michigan always has good players and are well coached, and will prevent a stiff challenge.
Iowa is 5-3 overall and 2-2 in the Big Ten.