Ferentz laments injured lineman, continues to support Vandenberg


SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Kirk Ferentz knew he wouldn’t have to worry about Brandon Scherff’s attitude almost immediately after the left tackle broke his leg.

Scherff lay on the field on Oct. 20, his lower body surrounded by trainers, and screamed in pain as they tended to a right leg that had been rolled on. Scherff immediately pointed to a cart on the sidelines, indicating he would not be able to walk off the field under his own power.

But as the trainers lifted him onto the cart and drove him off the field, the 6-5, 30- pound sophomore waved his arms into the air and urged fans to cheer.

“His attitude was tremendous Saturday night,” Ferentz said. “Everybody saw that in the stadium.”

Iowa’s offensive line is less dangerous now that both Scherff and right guard Andrew Donnal will miss the rest of the season with injuries. Scherff reportedly had surgery on Sunday, and Ferentz said on Tuesday that Donnal, who left the game just two plays after Scherff, would be out for the season with a knee injury.

The injuries leave the Hawkeye line — what had arguably been the strength of the offense — dangerously thin with five games remaining in the season. Junior Nolan MacMillan replaced Scherff during Iowa’s game against Penn State and “did good things,” Ferentz said. Redshirt freshman Austin Blythe will reclaim the guard spot he had lost to Donnal earlier this season.

But Ferentz said his linemen would need to prepare to play any spot on the line for the rest of the season.

“We’re pretty much out of guys unless we dip into the freshman class,” he said. “So basically anybody who can practice right now, he has to be fairly multiple in what he can do.”

Running back Mark Weisman said the team would miss Scherff on the field.

“Scherff’s an unbelievable lineman, a huge body out there,” Weisman said. “But we’ve got guys who will step in, and we’ll do our best.”

Ferentz, Hawkeyes support Vandenberg

The Hawkeyes scoffed on Tuesday at any suggestion that it was time to try a new quarterback.

“I don’t agree with that at all,” tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz said. “James has been starting for two years. Everyone has a bad game every once in a while. He’s smart. He studies football. That shouldn’t even be a discussion.”

Weisman agreed.

“He’s our leader. We have complete confidence in James,” he said. “We don’t worry about him at all.”

Vandenberg said he could “totally see an argument” that backup quarterback Jake Rudock should have seen some late snaps just to gain experience. But Ferentz and his quarterback both said they wanted to give the offense a chance to find some sort of positive momentum before the game ended.

Ferentz said there is more to worry about Iowa’s performance against Penn State — he said the team “got trashed” — than his quarterback’s performance.

“To evaluate what happened Saturday, any one player’s performance or job status, that would be tough to do,” he said. “It was a thorough beating we experienced … To be reactionary to that one game, at least based on what I saw, I think it would be a mistake.”

In today's issue:

Privacy Policy (8/15/07) | Terms of Use (4/28/08) | Content Submission Agreement (8/23/07) | Copyright Compliance Policy (8/25/07) | RSS Terms of Use

Copyright © The Daily Iowan, All Rights Reserved.