September 5, 2012
Does the perception that Iowa has a talent advantage over Iowa State make this weekends Cy-Hawk game more difficult for Kirk Ferentz? Find out what he has to say on that topic, along with James Vandenberg's toughness, the new kickoff rules, and if Damon Bullock's performance surprised him in this edition of Extra Kirk.
Q: We heard you after games outside the locker room and there is passion. Like Penn State a while ago
FERENTZ: I don't know what you are talking about. I don't remember that. I think it's a big game. It is big for everybody, I think. I don't want to speak for them, but it is big for us. It was a big game in the 80's and I don't expect that to ever change. It's a good thing. It's good for football.
Q: Did you notice anything generally with the new kickoff rule?
FERENTZ: I saw Alabama and Michigan on the way home. I think there are going to be more touchbacks, but that's about it.
Q: Where are you on that rule?
FERENTZ: I am actually for it because we didn't cover kicks very well the past few years. I would move it up to the 40 if we could. I would vote for that. (laugh)
Q: What about the men behind the programs here, not the stadiums, but guys like Kinnick and Trice. What does Nile Kinnick mean to this program?
FERENTZ: You probably get the same answer. Two legendary stories. On the Nile Kinnick front, how fortunate are we to have someone like that to have the stadium named after him. The end of the story is unfortunate, but when he was alive, anyone who you ever talked to that knew him beloved him. He was an exception person. It's a great thing and a great story.
Q: Does James Vandenberg have a baseball background that he could shake off a shaky start or something like that?
FERENTZ: Those are your words, not mine. I think he played well. He led our team and we won the game. That is the objective.
Q: What about that stat, yards per attempt. What does it say?
FERENTZ: It says we didn't throw the ball as well as we wanted to. That's all it says. I am glad James is our quarterback. I will go on record saying that. I am glad that he is our quarterback for at least 11 more games.
Q: Makeup is part of that
FERENTZ: He's just a good player. Great young guy. He is what you want in a quarterback, at least what we want.
Q: He's tougher than he looks.
FERENTZ: Absolutely. As you say that I am thinking about the throw he made down the seam at Purdue. He is an extremely tough guy. You can't play quarterback if you aren't tough.
Q: He took some tough blindside hits.
FERENTZ: Yeah, he took one at the end on that two point play. Those are things that will get cleaned up. He didn't say a word. He was laughing about it on Sunday.
Q: From what you saw on Saturday, how much distance is there between Bullock and Garmon?
FERENTZ: Damon is more familiar with what we are doing. He had the advantage of being with us in the spring and he is an older guy, but Greg is doing a good job. Damon is obviously further ahead from just being in the program.
Q: Were you pleasantly surprised by Bullock?
FERENTZ: Well, we didn't know what to expect. If any back gets 150 yards, they get a pass grade, for sure.
Q: It seems like the outside perception is that every year you guys have a decided advantage in talent. You have never said that, but does it make it harder for you?
FERENTZ: I think that was said last week too. (snort) Someone told me that we were ten point favorites. Games get decided on the field. I think all that stuff is overhyped. They have a good football team. They just beat a very impressive football team. That's all I know. I know what I see on film and I see a very good football team.
Q: Is this one of the best groups of linebackers you will face?
FERENTZ: I would imagine. Those guys are really good players and #52 isn't bad either. He jumped in there and did a really good job too as a first year starter.
Q: Bullock really had no significant offers until you guys came along?
FERENTZ: He is a perfect Iowa Football player. He fits right in with our mode of operation.
Q: How did you find him?
FERENTZ: We were looking everywhere.
Q: Joe Gaglione had some big plays for you on Saturday.
FERENTZ: Yeah, like a lot of our guys, he's a fifth year senior, but a first year player. That was good for him. Joe's biggest challenge has been he has been injured so much since he has been here that he hasn't been able to practice for long periods of time. He was out there every day in the spring and he's had a good camp. Hopefully he is poised to have a good senior year.
Q: Talking to him at media day, he said he almost quit football.
FERENTZ: Yeah, it's not quite the Pat Angerer story, but he's been injured a lot. It is frustrating when a player can't play. He spent a lot more time with the trainers and that's frustrating to a player.
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