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January 1, 2016

Kirk Ferentz

Austin Blythe

Jordan Lomax

Pasadena, California

Stanford - 45 Iowa - 16

THE MODERATOR: We're joined with student-athletes from The University of Iowa and Coach Kirk Ferentz. Seated closest to Coach Ferentz is Jordan Lomax and next to Jordan is Austin Blythe.

Coach, an opening statement?

COACH FERENTZ: First of all, I just want to congratulate Stanford. They're a tremendous football team, very well-coached, and they played a tremendous game today, needless to say.

So, we're all disappointed at the outcome of the game today, the way we played. But that being said, I just say it one more time, just how proud I am of our football team. They've been a tremendous group all season long. 13 times they've prepared well, they've competed hard, and today just didn't work out for us.

Obviously, very, very proud of the way the guys have done things, and that really goes back 12 months. So this game hurts. We'll learn from it. We'll move on. We'll improve. But right now it certainly hurts and it's something that we'll deal with.

Couple people I want to thank. First of all, the people involved with the Rose Bowl. Our experience has been just first class. Every part about it has been fantastic, so we're very, very appreciative of that. It's a tremendous experience to play in this game and compete in this game. Our fan turnout was just phenomenal today. They've been great historically, and to have them all out here supporting the team today and all week is something we really appreciate as well.

Great to see so many former players. We had a ton of former players here. Appreciative of that also. And most importantly, just our senior class. I can't tell you or describe in terms just what a great job they have done going back to last January. These guys have walked the walk on a daily basis. They've done a tremendous job of providing leadership for everybody on our football team, and these guys are the main reason why we made history this year.

So really appreciative of all their efforts. Certainly wish all of them the best as they move forward, and I know they're going to all do well, and our team will move forward as well. Thank you.

Q. Kirk, one question, did the first pass of 75-yard play from scrimmage, to what degree, if any, did that put your team on the heels? And I'd like to ask each of the players something. I'd like to ask Austin, when Kirk is done, what was pivotal about Stanford controlling the line of scrimmage? And to Jordan, what makes McCaffrey unique among the offensive players you have faced?
COACH FERENTZ: In the first place, it was a big play certainly. We had a similar situation to that in 2009 at Penn State. They hit an 80-yard pass on us right off the bat. But we came back ask won the football game. Just like this game won't define this team. One play doesn't define a game. We had ample opportunity after that to play. But to put it on that would really diminish the way they played. They played a tremendous game in all phases.

AUSTIN BLYTHE: For us, we just didn't get it going offensively. And Stanford played a good defensive game obviously, and we didn't get anything going until the end there. And at that point it was too little way too late.

JORDAN LOMAX: McCaffrey, he's a great running back. Everybody saw that today, and everybody's seen it all season long. His ability to allude tackles and stay on his feet. He's just a great player.

Q. Kirk, you guys used a different offensive line combination that you hadn't used since I think Northwestern. Was that related to any kind of injury status or was it the practices? How did that come about and what kind of impact did you think it had negatively on the running game?
COACH FERENTZ: Well, I think injuries have pretty much dictated how we play all season long and who plays more specifically. So, yeah, really coming out of the Michigan State game, we had some guys injured, Boone, and Ike Boettger hasn't been healthy since the Illinois game.

So we felt during the course of the last couple weeks it was the best lineup to go with. And, again, just I don't -- you know, we ran the ball fine against Northwestern using that same lineup. So today they just outplayed us. They outplayed us in every turn, and credit goes to them.

Q. What impact did C.J.'s maybe early injury, if any, play an impact on that offense and his limitations?
COACH FERENTZ: It's kind of the same thing. C.J.'s been less than a hundred percent basically all season long, so I'm not saying he's used to that, but it's par for the course. But, again, just to put it on one injury or guys being a little bit hobbled, Stanford just outplayed us every turn. They outplayed us. They did a great job. They're a veteran football team. It's hard to find -- you can find less than a handful of guys that aren't seniors or juniors on that team, and I think that was a big part of it. Obviously, another big part of that was one of the underclassmen that's not a junior or senior, No. 5, he's a very, very special player too. They have an excellent football team.

Q. Coach, two things, basically. How did McCaffrey differ from what you've seen on film? Was it a shock to your guys to see him in action? Secondly, did you take any umbrage at the final pass of the game when they were up by 22 and went for a 40-yard pass?
COACH FERENTZ: Regarding the last play, our job if we're on defense is to defend whatever they choose to run. Run, pass, really doesn't matter. So that's what you do when you're on defense, and we didn't successfully defend that play.

Regarding McCaffrey, the thing there is when you play a great football player, and he is a great football player, he earned that trip to New York, and nobody on our football team would disagree with that, it's impossible to duplicate that out there on the practice field. We don't have anybody like that, and I mean that with all due respect to our players. We have a lot of good players, but he's a rare talent. He's a tremendous football player, great balance, great vision, very difficult to tackle. So, you know, it's just a real credit to him.

But for us to try to duplicate that, just like you can go back historically, it's always a big challenge.

Q. Kirk and Jordan both, there seemed to be significant issues with slipping from the very beginning of the game, even in pregame warm-ups. The first play of the game I think, Jordan, you and Cole Fisher slipped, which enabled McCaffrey to kind of split both of you guys. Did you guys change cleats at halftime? Did you try to talk about it before the game?
COACH FERENTZ: You've got to play with your feet up underneath you. That's what it gets down to. The surface was excellent. That's part of playing on natural grass. It wasn't the shoes. It's just they're a good football team.

JORDAN LOMAX: I agree with what Coach Ferentz just said. We just had to keep our feet up underneath us. We didn't change our shoes at halftime or anything. Pretty much you can't blame it on the cleats or anything. Everybody was on the same surface. It was an even playing field. For us to say it was a slipping issue would be incorrect.

Q. Regarding off-season surgeries, I'm sure you've got a laundry list of that. Is C.J., Boone, anybody else that's kind of on that list right now?
COACH FERENTZ: No, those two guys aren't -- to my knowledge, at least at this point, I just walked out of the locker room and unfortunately haven't had much time to visit, no, they're not on the list. We'll cross that bridge when we get to it. Nothing major to report right now at least that I'm aware of.

Q. Jordan and Austin, I know it's going to be tough to think about it right now, but looking back on your careers, what stands out most to you as being an Iowa Hawkeye?
JORDAN LOMAX: Just being able to play with a group of guys this year. It was a very great year for us. The togetherness and maturity within this group and the camaraderie and just being able to play under Coach Ferentz and the rest of the coaching staff has just been a huge honor.

Couldn't thank this university, our fans and my teammates -- they've done so much for me, and it's just been an awesome year.

AUSTIN BLYTHE: I'd like to echo everything Jordan just said. It's been an unbelievable year with the group of guys we've got. Everybody working towards a common goal, working together. There was nobody standing off on the side doing their own stuff. Like Jordan said, just playing for these fans, this university and for a coach like Coach Ferentz is second to none.


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