Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz says the Iowa-Iowa State game is the focus of most college football fans in the state this week. The Hawkeyes visit the Cyclones on Saturday in the 61st meeting of the series.
“And the unique part about it is that we are from two separate conferences, which there are a lot of great rivalries around the country but I don’t know how many there are of this category where you have two conferences represented. So, it makes it a little more unique,” Ferentz says. He says the game always has a great environment no matter where it is played. “If you like college football, it’s a great thing I think.”
The last two games in the series have been decided by three points. “It’ll be tough ball game like always, anytime I think we get together it’s usually a pretty good game,” he says.
Iowa State has won the last two games but Ferentz says that won’t provide added motivation. “To us this is the 2013 season and we are 1-1 right now and we want to win every week…and I’m sure they feel the same way,” according to Ferentz. “They’ve got 11 opportunities left, we’ve got 10. They’re awfully important, every game is awfully important.”
Ferentz says to have a chance the Hawkeyes must cut down on penalties. They had 10 in last week’s 28-14 victory over Missouri State. “Typically penalties are just not concentrating hard enough, not paying close enough attention to some details, or being mismatched physically, sometimes those things happen. But a lot of times it’s just concentration, bad judgment or being mismatched or lazy, sometimes guys grab instead of use their legs,” Ferentz says. He says they won’t win games consistently with as many penalties as they has Saturday.
Ferentz says he has been impressed with the play of sophomore quarterback Jake Rudock through two games. He says Rudock has had a great attitude and this will be his first road game, so it will be “another degree of difficulty” for him.
Ferentz says the later 5:00 p.m. kickoff is something the players and coaches will need to adjust too. He says they can’t play the game Saturday during the day, they have to stick to their routine and make sure they aren’t expending all their energy during the day.