Pat Angerer and the Iowa Hawkeye Football team have been though some tough times and despite the loss today, the senior linebacker is ready to lead this team and keep on fighting. Following the hard fought loss today to Northwestern, he talked about tasting defeat for the first time this year, the play of young James Vandenberg at quarterback and his toughness, plus he quotes Johnny Cash.
Q: How awful was walking off with a loss after having so many great wins this year?
PAT: Obviously it was tough, but the credit goes to them. They played hard and they are a tough group of guys.
Q: Despite losing, you are still in the hunt for the Big Ten title. Do you still look at it that way?
PAT: Absolutely. Our goal is still in front of us and worst things could have happened. We lost a football game. No one is dead. We are not in a war. We are living the greatest country in the world and we are going to school for free. We are living the American Dream and a lot worse things could have happened.
Q: Was there any sense that when Ricky goes down, there goes the leader of the offense?
PAT: You never want to see Rick hurt or be hurt. He is a great guy. James is a competitor. I beat the hell out of him many times and he kept talking trash and coming back for more. I know he did a great job today.
Q: How do you rebound now heading into Columbus, which is not the easiest place to play?
PAT: We just have to keep doing what we are doing. We have to continue to fight and continue to improve. We have to watch the tapes. We are not looking too far ahead right now. We have to watch tape and then great ready for Ohio State.
Q: Did the defense feel like that once Ricky went down that you guys have to amp up a bit more and create some turnovers or make something happen?
PAT: We have to keep doing what we are doing. If they don't score, we win.
Q: In the 4th quarter with the clock ticking down, with the way this season has gone, were you almost waiting for something to happen?
PAT: I know that if we keep doing our job that good things will come our way. Unfortunately that didn't happen and the credit goes to them. They played hard, they are a good team, and they are very well coached. It was a fight out there and they are competitors.
Q: How much does this one hurt?
PAT: Well it hurts, but we have two games left. All we can do right now is improve and good things will happen.
Q: What drives you now?
PAT: Improvement. We have to improve. Obviously the next game is going to be tough and we can't make those same mistakes that we made today.
Q: Is there something about Northwestern? I think the turnover margin is like 10-3 in the last three meetings here?
PAT: They are a good team and a smart group of guys. They deserve the win. They came out and they fought and they won. We didn't do enough to win.
Q: Were you guys deflated at all when Ricky went out?
PAT: Absolutely not. You never want to see guys get hurt and he is a great competitor and a great guy. I put a lot of trust in Vandenberg. He is a good guy. I have beaten the hell out of him a bunch of times and he continues to fight.
Q: Are you talking about pre-season practice type stuff?
PAT: Every time he comes into my house, he is always running his mouth. (laugh) I have literally choked him unconscious before for talking trash. (laugh) We are going to be ok.
Q: The 24 hour rule applies both ways. How do you get it out of your system?
PAT: It's going to hurt, obviously. That was a good team that we lost to, but we wanted to win. It is probably going to hurt until tomorrow and then we have to get back to work. It doesn't really help us out thinking about this loss.
Q: What was that Johnny Cash quote you like to use?
PAT: We have been through the fire before and we can take a whole lot more.
Q: What does that mean to you?
PAT: It means that we have been through worse and we have to keep fighting. There is still a lot ahead of us and we can still be a great team.