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B1G coaches talk highly of Iowa

BY DI STAFF | JULY 31, 2014 5:00 AM

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CHICAGO — The 2014 Big Ten media days wrapped up on Tuesday morning. For the Iowa football team, this means just a week before its own media day in Iowa City.

Football is now in full swing. The Hawkeyes are set to face eight Big Ten foes this season: Purdue, Indiana, Maryland, Northwestern, Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Nebraska.

The Daily Iowan’s football beat writers spoke with each of the head coaches. Below is what each coach had to say about Iowa for the upcoming season.

Purdue’s Darrell Hazell: “Obviously, it’s a great program. [Head coach Kirk Ferentz] has done an unbelievable job there. But we’re a ways away from that one.”

Iowa will play at Purdue on Sept. 27.

Indiana’s Kevin Wilson: “I know they’re good. I know they have one of the best players in the league in that left tackle [Branbdon Scherff]. I know, last year, they got back to playing football the way Kirk’s always done it. … It’s a tough place to play. I know they’re excited. They’re going to be good.”

Iowa will host Indiana on Oct. 11.

Maryland’s Randy Edsall: “I just know this: I have a tremendous amount of respect for Kirk Ferentz in terms of what he’s done. I’ve known him for a while. I just know it’s going to be a tough, physical game. They’re going to be well-coached. Their team is going to be well-prepared. I just know those are the kinds of guys you want to go against. You’re going to have to beat them. They’re not going to beat themselves.”

Iowa will play at Maryland on Oct. 18.

Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald: “You can set your watch on the consistency of Kirk’s teams — fundamentally outstanding, mentally, they very rarely beat themselves. Physically, they’re always one of the toughest, I mean, you walk out of the week against Iowa, and you’re sore as you know what.

“… Big Ten did us another great favor, and we have to go to Kinnick again — it’s unbelieveable, how many times we’ve played out there in my nine years … I really enjoyed it as a player out there because the fans knew more about me than I knew about myself.”

Iowa will host Northwestern on Nov. 1.

Minnesota’s Jerry Kill: “Again their quarterback is getting even better, I thought throughout the season, it always starts there. Offensive line-wise, they’re good like they always are. [They have] good backs, that’s who they are. They’ll control the football on you and not make a lot of mistakes. Defensively, they have to replace some kids; those linebackers were awfully good. But they seem to fill some kids in pretty easy. And I think their schedule is set good. I think you take those combinations, and they’re well-coached, and it puts them in pretty good position.”

Iowa will play at Minnesota on Nov. 8.

Illinois’ Tim Beckman: “I’m excited, because Iowa is a great program, Coach Kirk’s done a great job with that program, and you know you can see that they’ve been successful with what they do.”
Iowa will play at Illinois on Nov. 15.

Wisconsin’s Gary Andersen: “I always have a lot of thoughts on Iowa. You know what you’re going to get. We went there — it’s not the toughest, but one of the toughest places we’ll play at all year long. When I say that, I mean the fans are awesome. It’s a great place to play. But it’s a hard place to play. … That’ll be a big, big game late in the year.”

Iowa will host Wisconsin on Nov. 22.

Nebraska’s Bo Pelini: “What they’re going to be, I don’t know. We don’t play them until the end of the year, and I haven’t spent as much time on them … I know they’re going to be physical — they’ve got that big old back [Mark Weisman] who’s back again; it seems like he’s been playing college football for 25 years, and he is a big, physical player. They’re going to be well-coached and do what they do.”

Iowa will host Nebraska on Nov. 28.


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