Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Well, Hawkeyes, What You're Looking for Is Spelled I-D-E-N-T-I-T-Y

Iowa was a football team looking for an identity a week ago, and it’s still a team looking for an identity.

“We clearly didn’t take any positive steps last week [in finding an identity],” coach Kirk Ferentz said today, in reference to a 31-6 loss Saturday that was about as bad as it gets.

At this stage, you can take those dreams that fans were having about the Hawkeyes going to the Rose Bowl and shove ‘em into the nearest garbage bin.

The same with those thoughts of being ranked in the top five nationally.

[My garbage guy arrives tomorrow morning. If he wants to go through my trash, he’ll find my Rose Bowl ticket order in there].

“The [preseason] euphoria and stuff was being fueled by people probably not as knowledgeable about our team and the level of competition,” Ferentz said.

A guy wanted to know if the Hawkeyes, who take a 2-2 record into an 11:10 a.m. homecoming game Saturday against Illinois, have lost their confidence.

“If players get caught up in that [preseason hype], yeah, their confidence might be shook a little bit,” Ferentz said.


Iowa is a 17 ½-point favorite to beat Illinois and set a school record of 21 for consecutive victories at home.


As for the identity—or lack of it—stuff, Ferentz said it’s the same as it was in 2004, 2003 and 2002.

He said the 2004 team, which went 10-2, was also seeking an identity after four games. In that season, Iowa was 2-2 after beating Kent State and Iowa State and losing to Arizona State and Michigan.

Then the Hawkeyes won their last eight, including a 30-25 victory over Louisiana State in the Capital One Bowl.

In 2003, Iowa started 4-0 before losing to Michigan State, 20-10. In 2002, the Hawkeyes went 11-2, but lost their third game to Iowa State, 36-31.

“People forget that we went undefeated in the conference in 2002, but it was a bumpy road early. That’s the nature of sports.”


We need to focus on the small picture right now,” Ferentz said. “We’re 0-1 in the league and Illinois is in the same situation. The best one of us can be after the game is 1-1. We need to work on improving things we’re not doing well enough as quickly as possible.


Illinois' 61-14 loss at home last week to Michigan State didn’t do anything to help Ferentz’s mood.

“We saw film Sunday of a team getting beat badly—and it was us. We’re not doing anything well enough that we can something for granted.”


Ron Zook, who is in his first year at Illinois, was Florida’s coach when Iowa beat the Gators, 37-17, in the 2003 Outback Bowl.

But Ferentz doesn’t think any knowledge of how Zook [pictured on the left above] operates will help in the preparations for Illinois.

“My memory is not that good,” he explained. “There are some parallels, but Ron would tell you it’s a different situation for him. We don’t have any advantage from that standpoint.”


Don't say I didn't tell you:

Iowa 42, Illinois 14
Iowa State 28, Nebraska 27


Vol. 4, No. 386
Sept. 27, 2005