Despite a disappointing loss to Northern Illinois Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz saw a lot of progress from his team. The Hawkeyes surrendered the final ten points of the game in a 30-27 loss.
“Hopefully our players saw the same thing on the film, there were an awful lot of good things going on. We really moved around well on defense, certainly offensively we did some things better than we have done in a while, and that was good to see,” Ferentz says. “The bottom line is it’s still tough to win a ballgame when you have 3 turnovers, it just makes it tough. A lot of statistics don’t matter, but that one certainly shows up pretty good and it certainly hurt us.”
Ferentz says the next step for the Hawkeyes is to learn how to win. Iowa had several opportunities to take command of the game in the second half but failed to capitalize. He says he felt like there were a couple of times where they were close to turning the game but couldn’t get it done.
Iowa’s offense operated at a much higher tempo last week and Ferentz says there may be more of the same moving forward. He says it will be week-to-week, but he thought they operated well and were fairly effective. Ferentz says they need to put more points on the board.
Ferentz says the Hawks need to eliminate the turnovers by the offense and big plays against the defense. Despite throwing a late interception that lead to the game winning field goal Ferentz thought it was a good debut by quarterback Jake Rudock.
“I think for the most part Jake really handled things well, his demeanor on the sideline was good, he was calm, confident, the feedback that we got from him was really accurate,” according to Ferentz.
Iowa hosts Missouri State this week. The Bears are led by former UNI coach Terry Allen. “I know Terry casuslly, I don’t know him well,” Ferentz says. He says he knows of what Allen did as the coach at UNI.
It will be a homecoming of sorts for Allen who grew up in Iowa City. “It’s a great opportunity, obviously we’ve never played a Big Ten school before,” Allen says. He says he is proud of what the teams in the league have done in beating the BCS schools and says he’d like to see his team do that too.
Allen led UNI to seven straight conference titles in the 90s but has not found the same level of success at Missouri State. The Bears highest finish in his first seven years was a tie for third in 2010. “The Valley wasn’t as good as it is now, the teams that we’ve added and the emphasis that’s put on football throughout the league…this last weekend exemplified that,” Allen says.
Missouri State opened with a 23-17 loss to Northwestern State of Louisiana.