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Iowa football: 5 questions and answers about the Hawkeyes

[ 0 ] November 14, 2012 |

Randy Peterson of The Des Moines Register answers five questions from fans:

You were around Hayden Fry and now Kirk Ferentz. How would you compare Ferentz’s blowup Tuesday to some of Fry’s?

Fry usually picked one press conference a year to lecture reporters, and often he did it to deflect team issues. I never heard him use a real bad word. As for Ferentz, he used a real bad word while voicing displeasure over the manner in which a question was asked about former academic counselor Peter Gray, who resigned amid accusations, that he sexually harassed students, some of whom may have been athletes.

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, left, and former coach Hayden Fry stand together during the national anthem Sept. 5, 2009, at Kinnick Stadium. (Christopher Gannon / Register file photo)

When asked about an unsourced radio report going around, that’s when Ferentz had enough. It came after his formal press conference had wrapped up. It happened as reporters were leaving the interview room, but before some recording devices had been turned off. Ferentz didn’t have a problem with the question; he actually answered it eventually.

His problem was that the question focused on an unattributed report by Iowa City radio station KCJJ. Interesting that the reporter who asked the question was from the Associated Press — and not from the radio station.

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How has the Iowa football team changed since the injuries to offensive linemen Brandon Scherff and Andrew Donnal?

Dramatically. Before both were injured during the Penn State game, Iowa was a left-handed team. When the Hawkeyes ran productively, it usually was left – behind a path cleared by Scherff, the left tackle. Injuries forced new line coach Brian Ferentz to reshuffle, and therefore, left-side holes aren’t as prevalent. Statistically, Iowa averaged 4.5 yards per rush before the injuries. It’s 2.6 yards since, and that number includes top rusher Mark Weisman missing games.

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There have been four losses by three points or less. How do the players maintain sanity?

Here’s what Ferentz said about that on Tuesday: “If you’re hanging around waiting for luck, you probably should get in a different profession. We’re trying to focus on the things that we need to do better, and every game is a different circumstance. It’s true of seasons, too. We’ve got the same amount of time to get ready for this game as Michigan does, and we have to utilize our time as well as we possibly can and try to be smart.”

He said all that without answering the original question, but a lot of coaches do that.

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Leading rusher Mark Weisman – yes or no on Saturday?

One-word answer: No. The guess here is that Weisman misses his third game in a row. His ankle, they say is fine. His strained groin? Not so much. If the Hawkeyes could pick one of their injured players to be given instant health, it certainly would be their 661-yard rusher who averages 5.8 yards a game.

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When is the last time Iowa lost this many Big Ten Conference games in a row?

The Hawkeyes enter Saturday’s game with consecutive losses against Penn State, Northwestern, Indiana and Purdue, a quartet of teams with combined records of 21-19 overall and 10-14 in the conference.

Iowa lost five conference games in a row in 2006 during a sequence that went like this: losses against league-rivals Indiana and Michigan, a victory against non-conference Northern Illinois, and then consecutive conference losses against Northwestern, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Still, Iowa went to the Alamo Bowl after that season.

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Here is a replay of Wednesday’s chat with Randy Peterson:

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Randy Peterson: Randy Peterson covers college football, college basketball and the Iowa Cubs for the Des Moines Register. Randy can be reached at randypeterson@dmreg.com or on Twitter via @RandyPete View author profile.

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