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Ferentz reaffirms decision to go to overtime against Iowa State

BY JORDAN GARRETSON | SEPTEMBER 14, 2011 7:20 AM

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Kirk Ferentz isn’t new to having his decisions second-guessed. Most with 16 years of head coaching experience aren’t.

That experience is why he couldn’t help but crack a grin at his Tuesday press conference when questions emerged regarding his decisions in last week’s loss at Iowa State, which drew heat from fans on various social media sites.

Iowa began the last drive of regulation at its own 20-yard line with 1:17 remaining. Marcus Coker ran for 2 yards before Iowa was set back five yards with a false-start penalty. Coker ran again, this time for 4 yards. Ferentz was content with letting the clock expire and heading to overtime but said afterward if they had “gotten the ball past the 30, we probably would have gone with it.”

He was asked Tuesday if his strategy for road games was to play for overtime.

“Our idea is to win the game typically,” he said. “That’s what we’re thinking, home or away.”

Receiver Keenan Davis expressed confidence in the decision, even in retrospect.

“That’s our time,” said Davis, who posted career-bests in catches (five) and receiving yards (95) but dropped a crucial pass in the third overtime.

“We should be able to come together in overtime and be able to get everything together.”

The 13th-year Iowa coach did express some regret over his other criticized call. With a fourth-and-one at Iowa State’s 16-yard line in the third overtime, Ferentz elected for Mike Meyer to kick a field goal. The Cyclones had scored touchdowns on their first two overtime possessions, as well as on two of their final three drives in regulation.

They did it again after Meyer’s field goal to claim the 44-41 victory.

“Obviously, I was banking on us being able to keep them out of the end zone,” Ferentz said.

“Knowing what I know now, I would have done it differently for sure.”

The nature of quarterback James Vandenberg’s regret was different.

“I trust Coach’s decision,” he said. “Whatever he says, I’m going to believe, and we’re going to go with it.

“I wish we could have scored some more touchdowns, maybe.”

Ferentz denies blackballing DJK

When Derrell Johnson-Koulianos — Iowa's all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards — wasn't invited to an NFL camp, some wondered if it was more than his December arrest that sealed his fate.

Ferentz denied the idea he may have advised NFL scouts against drafting or signing Johnson-Koulianos.

"Typically, players' actions speak for themselves, and I haven't slammed any player to anybody since I've been here," Ferentz said. "On that topic, I can unequivocally say nobody has asked me anything — since and including December."

Johnson-Koulianos was dismissed from the team and missed the Insight Bowl after being arrested Dec. 7 on seven drug-related charges. He later pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana. All other charges were dropped.

"And the other thing I'd just add, I imagine most of the guys that ended up in NFL camps probably played in their last game as a senior on the team," Ferentz said. "That would be my guess."

Getz out for season

Linebacker Dakota Getz will miss the remainder of this season after suffering a knee injury on the opening kickoff against Iowa State. It was his first action of the season after a separate injury to his shoulder kept him out of the season-opener against Tennessee Tech. Injuries also limited Getz to only three games in 2010.

Ferentz said linebacker Tyler Nielsen — who suffered a minor ankle injury against Iowa State but returned — and defensive back Jordan Bernstine — who missed the game due to illness — will both be OK for Saturday against Pittsburgh.

"[Bernstine] would have been fine Sunday," Ferentz said. "We didn't play Sunday, so that didn't help us."


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