On his weekly radio show, Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz talked about a variety of topics. Those include:
On Marvin McNutt: “(Quarterback and top athlete) Marvin McNutt I think one of the most outstanding young people on campus. We’re hopeful we can get him on the field.” That could include playing him at other positions, Ferentz said afterward.
Ferentz said he’s trying to red-shirt DT Cody Hundertmark. “If we can pull that off it would be a good thing and a healthy thing.” Hundertmark played last year as a true freshman.
Ferentz received his first call from an Iowa State fan from Marshalltown who complained about snotty Iowa fans during Iowa-ISU week. Ferentz’s response: “First of all I really don’t talk to Cyclones.” Ferentz then admitted he was joking but said the atmosphere surrounding the Iowa-ISU game is better today than it was 26 years ago when he started as an Iowa assistant coach. That was just four years after the rivalry was restarted.
On Adrian Clayborn: “Really came on during the course of last season. I think he’s got a great future. Good team guy.” Said Clayborn was lost in the shuffle early on but “has built a good foundation.”On backup defensive tackle Karl Klug earning the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week Award: “I thought that was unusual but it was great to see. I’m only laughing because he was runner-up honorable mention on our own team.”
“We play better when we run the football.” Funny comment: “They want us to play a little bit left-handed.” Ferentz, by the way, is left-handed.
On recent recruiting classes, especially along the defensive line: “We worked hard to build depth.”
On weekly improvement from week one to week two: “The good news is we can still gain more ground. The big thing we have to do is keep pushing forward. We have a lot of room for improvement.”
Another caller asked about Iowa’s tight-end situation, highlighting Tony Moeaki returning from a broken foot and Brandon Myers playing solidly since last year. Ferentz said: “We’ve always considered those guys both starters. Tony will be back on a limited basis. He’s way behind in terms of conditioning.” We’re probably more anxious to get
Another caller asked about Iowa’s coin flip possibilities. Ferentz said: “I’m a little superstitious. We chose to defer (at Michigan State in 2003 and the Spartans went up the field and scored). Ever since then I’ve been a little gunshy on changing that strategy. (He prefers to take the ball)
Another caller asked about the QB situation and Rick Stanzi winning the job: “I think the thing I like about it is both guys are playing better. If we’re throwing the ball well it just means we’re having more production. … I think to me he has played better than Jake has the last month and a half. We’re happy with both guys. We’re continue to learn a lot more about Rick, about Jake and our team.”
On special teams: Our return game is off to a great start. The kick return area just fell off the table last year, and that hurt us. For us to to have a chance to be successful with the rest of our schedule, we’re going to have to be good on special teams. …
On comparing the blocked field goal in Ames last year with the blocked field goal Saturday vs. Florida International: “That (in Ames) was a breakdown fundamentally, and that was disappointing. The one Saturday was a technical thing. It’s correctible.”
Ferentz said practice has been more intense this week, and the team has practiced well since the school restarted.
Injury front: LB Jeff Tarpinian (hamstring) “is working his way back. He’s making progress.” Offensive lineman Dan Doering (broken hand): “He’s back working and now finding a comfort level.” WR Trey Stross likely will play.
On freshmen QBs James Vandenberg and John Wienke and RB Jeff Brinson: “We’re pleased with all three of those guys. Pleased with what they did in camp. Doing a good job representing our opponents on a weekly basis. We’re really pleased with the last few recruiting classes.”
Ferentz on ISU: We’re going to have to be our sharpest out there, there’s no doubt about it.” He said one difference is that ISU likes to use the QB to run the football.
On Austin Arnaud and Phillip Bates, ISU’s QBs: Ferentz said Arnaud is a better passer and Bates is a better runner. He said he tried to snag Arnaud but couldn’t seal the deal.
Ferentz said the team needs to tackle better and didn’t tackle well last week.
On new assistant coach Erik Campbell (wide receivers) and his recruiting area: Michigan, Texas and look at specific positions. ”He’s a perfect fit for our university and our state.”
On teaching a football philosophy class like Ohio State’s Jim Tressel: “Probably not.”
On offensive line: “When you talk about pass protection, everybody is involved. There’s times at practice I wonder, but I wonder about a lot of things.”
On secondary: Amari Spievey is playing well, Ferentz said.