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November 22, 2014

Kirk Ferentz

IOWA - 24

COACH FERENTZ:  So, tough loss for our football team and congratulations to our opponent.  They really played well.
Both teams really competed extremely hard out there.  It was a tough, hard nosed, physical game and really well played by both teams and we came up a little short there at the end.
But it was one heck of a football game and one heck of an environment.  Our fans were outstanding, so we really appreciate that.  We'll try to get back to work here tomorrow.

Q.  What was the beef on the two‑point conversions and the time out that it cost you.  What was the discussion there?
COACH FERENTZ:  Yeah, it was just a miscommunication.  Apparently, I thought they ‑‑ we tried to signal to get the ball over on the left side there and I thought that that had been communicated.
Then the next thing I know it was in the middle.  So, in retrospect I wish I had come down to the sideline and maybe talked to one of the officials on our boundary and tried to get that corrected.

Q.  Did you get what you wanted there?
COACH FERENTZ:  No, we got exactly what we wanted and they made a good call.  We had a plan, we had came into the game with two, two‑point plays and we thought we had the right call in for sure and they came up with a good call, too, and that happens during the course of the game.

Q.  Third downs, they converted a lot of key third downs, what were they doing successfully?
COACH FERENTZ:  You got to give them credit.  It starts with the quarterback back, but it's a team effort any time you do that.
But that was one of our goals was try to get them off schedule and make them play a little bit left‑handed.
During those third and manageables they were really good at it.  But today they rose up and did a great job converting those and that's a credit to the winning team.

Q.  Do you feel look you guys did a good job against Gordon?  He hit his 200 yards, but he didn't completely take over the game.  Do you feel like you defensed him well?
COACH FERENTZ:  I thought our guys competed extremely hard, they were blocking hard, and we were playing blocks hard and trying to get to the football.  But he popped that one there, you know, down their sideline.
When you play a guy like that, he's an outstanding football player, so that's the risk you run when you play a guy like that.  He's got that explosion, that capability, and that's what makes it so challenging to try to defend a team with a player like that.
Credit to them for sticking with it.  They don't get away from their plan.  They're good at that.  And I thought our guys competed extremely hard, just came up a couple plays short today.

Q.  Other than the 80 yard run, other than that, he didn't score and they settled for three.
COACH FERENTZ:  I think both teams showed a lot of heart there today.  And certainly that's why you never give up on a play.  Historically, we have won games where that type of thing happened.  I think about the Michigan game in 2003, great effort play there.  Same scenario.
It would have been big today, had we gotten that opportunity to get that last field goal attempt, it would have been the same story.  But it never came around.
But again you can't quit on plays and our guys, they didn't quit on anything today.

Q.  It is it safe to say that even though today was a loss you performed better as a team than maybe some of your wins this season in terms of the level of execution?
COACH FERENTZ:  The idea is to get better as the season goes on.  We didn't win today, we lost to a very good football team.
But I thought we prepared well this week and our guys played hard enough.  We didn't play well enough to win.  They made a couple plays that we couldn't execute, but that's what winning teams do and they're a good team.

Q.  From the sidelines, the arm chair, where was that offensive attack, where was that strategizing in the first half as compared to the second half when it worked so beautifully?
COACH FERENTZ:  You go into every game with a plan.  You guys have been covering us for awhile.  At least most of you I think are hometown here.  Home state here.
Our goal is to be balanced.  That's what we want to do.  You get in the flow of a game and the game dictates what happens.  I wouldn't say we were confident we would run the ball, but we were sure planning on trying it and we worked at that.
They do a good job of taking that away.  They're an excellent defensive team, players and coaches.
And so we had to change the menu a little bit in that second half and it was anybody's ball game and we kind of made some plays in the passing game, which was good to see.
Jake did a good job, I think, of executing, running the offense, executing, made some really good throws.  And then we had good protection and the guys came up with some good plays and that's what it takes to be successful.

Q.  Your last three possessions were long touchdown drives against that defense.  Was this in any way a step ahead for Jake and that offense?
COACH FERENTZ:  No, they're going to be things both teams can feel good about.  We lost.  There's nothing good about that.  That's not on the books.
But how you play is important and that's‑‑ that old cliche about win or lose, that's a bunch of crap.  Winning is what you work so hard for.
But how do you play is important whether you win or lose.  And that's, as coaches, we always look at it that way.  So we'll see a lot of good things tomorrow on that tape.
I know the effort was good, I know the competitiveness was good.  But it's things that weren't good enough, that's what we got to try to get cleaned up and we got six days to get that done now.

Q.  What was the, on both two‑point conversions there was something going on with on which hash the ball was on.  It looked like the referee wasn't putting the ball where you wanted.
COACH FERENTZ:  Somehow we got to find a little better communication.  First one wasn't too bad.  The second one I thought we had communicated ‑‑ you were probably out of the room when I covered this already, but anyway, I thought we had an understanding and we had ‑‑ and then apparently we hadn't.
So I should have gone down the sideline as opposed to going out onto the field to get it corrected.
Just failure to communicate.  It causes a lot of the world's problems.

Q.  You have to be satisfied that when the defense did overall and was this Rudock's best game?
COACH FERENTZ:  We played hard and we played physical and played intense against a team that plays hard and physical and intense.
So if we can just clean up some of the things that we, some of the plays that we let out, not necessarily the conversions, but some of the big plays, you just can't win defensively giving up big plays and we had a couple that were costly today.
The one was on a, that touchdown run, it wasn't a big quote unquote yardage play, but it was something we could have played a little bit better.  So that's the key right now is we got to get that done.
Jake competed and played about as well as I think that he has during his time here and he's done a lot of good things for us.

Q.  To be so close and have so much at stake, can a loss like this be a little tougher to flush than another loss, per se?
COACH FERENTZ:  Well, I mean yes and no.  What was at stake was we were trying to win the game today and simple as that.  And that's what we were trying to get done.
So, but, that's ‑‑ yeah, it hurts.  It hurts when you come up two points short.  That hurts.  We have been at the other end too about where it was a lot more than.
But no matter what it is, two points, you know, or more than that, you got to get back up on your feet the next day and get going again.  It's going to be really important this week just because of the short week here.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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