116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz had one word for his decision to attempt a fake punt against Kent State Saturday.
He said the word “dumb” several times Tuesday in explaining why he attempted a fake punt on fourth-and-9 after a delay-of-game penalty with the team ahead 23-7 at the time.
“I’ll take that one. It was dumb. Dumb. That’s a really dumb — that was a dumb sequence,” Ferentz said. “That was dumb on a lot of levels. … That was just dumb at a dumb time. I mean, in retrospect, really dumb.”
He did see one positive from the miscue, though.
“It’s on film now, so people are going to think, ‘OK, maybe they’re going to fake punt,’” Ferentz said. “In that case, they’ll probably say, ‘I hope they do it in that situation.’”
Young defensive line gains experience
Three games into the season, a defensive line with only one senior listed on the depth chart has gotten quite a bit of experience. As the Hawkeyes rotate aggressively on the defensive line, that has resulted in plenty of opportunities for underclassmen.
“It’s impressive to see how they absorb the game plan,” said John Waggoner, the junior defensive end from Des Moines.
Ferentz said the youth at the defensive line was probably his “biggest concern” going into the season.
“We’re making progress, and we’ve held up in some tough circumstances and situations,” Ferentz said, “so it gives you encouragement certainly.”
The defensive line is “hardly there yet” to where it will need to be, though, Ferentz said.
Waggoner said the position group has been focused on “improving every day.”
“Our first three games are a testament to that, and we want to continue to do that,” Waggoner said.
The defensive front will have another fun task Saturday against a Colorado State team that ran the ball about 64 percent of the time in its last game. Waggoner is looking forward to it.
“It’s fun because you know what you’re going to get for a lot of it,” Waggoner said. “You can come off low and try to knock these guys back and make some plays in the run game.”
Not thinking about No. 5
It’s no secret Iowa has been ranked No. 5 in the country, but don’t remind the Hawkeyes of that.
“You’re trying not to pay attention to that,” Waggoner said.
He’s not the only one with that mindset either.
“Rankings are more for your grandmas and parents to look at and talk about,” said Kyler Schott, the senior offensive lineman from Coggon, outside the team’s practice facility. “But if we keep coming in here and doing our job, the rankings in December, January is really going to matter for us.”
Schott said the coaching staff has it “ingrained” in the players’ minds to not think about rankings. Waggoner admitted not thinking about the No. 5 next to the Hawkeyes’ name can be “difficult sometimes,” though.
“You’ve just got to get off Twitter, get off social media where everyone’s telling you how good you are,” Waggoner said, “because none of that really means anything at this time of year.”
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