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Coach Ferentz - 11 06 12

Coach Ferentz - 11 06 12

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Published by: Marc Morehouse on Nov 10, 2012
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visit our archives at asapsports.com 
Coach Ferentz - 11 06 12 
 An interview with:
COACH FERENTZ: Our captains will beJames Vandenberg, James Ferentz offensively,James Morris offensively with Micah Hyde. Injuryright now, Weisman and Rogers, we'll see how theweek goes, but at this point it looks doubtful. Wehad a meeting this morning, and they both haveground to cover, but I think it's doubtful.Then we take on Purdue, who is cominginto town here with a team that's a very veteranteam, probably the most veteran team there is inthe Big Ten right now.They've had some disappointment as well.A couple of weeks ago, they played an excellentgame in Columbus against Ohio State. Had a veryrealistic chance to win that football game, and it's just kind of how football is. It's that close.We're playing a very veteran team that'sgot a lot of very dynamic players on it, and we'll getready for them today. We're getting readyphysically this afternoon with the team and getready to play a good ballgame. It will certainly begood to be back.
Q. What was Purdue able to do againstOhio State that they haven't been able to do inother weeks?
COACH FERENTZ: They came out andgot off to a great start, certainly. Just I think playedvery aggressively. Played with confidence, anddidn't make errors that keep you from winning, Iguess, up until the end. They had a really goodopportunity. They got a pick right there at the endwith under 4:00 left just couldn't quite finish thegame.But give Ohio State credit too. There is areason they're undefeated. They're playing well.But Purdue certainly battled them, and they've gota lot of good players.
Q. How would you categorize MarkWeisman for the rest of the season?
COACH FERENTZ: I think he had apossibility and still has a possibility of playing thisweek. I don't know how good a possibility rightnow. But I'm hopeful he'll be back next week.Hopefully, Brad Rogers is the same way. We'll justhave to wait and see. But I think he's got achance.
Q. Is it the ankle or somethingdifferent?
COACH FERENTZ: He's got a sprain rightnow, and they just have to respond. MotherNature's got a role in this whole thing. I think he'sgot a shot this week, but probably not a good shot.We're not going to put him out there until he canfunction the way he needs to.
Q. The offensive line, do you think thata couple of games they're coming on a littlebetter, getting more in sync?
COACH FERENTZ: Had some issues lastweek, the last few weeks. It's not the same. Thathappens when you lose players, but I think theguys have made the transition. Certainlydiscussed it a week ago. We felt like the best thingto do is move Matt Tobin out to the left tackleposition. Matt Tobin has done a great job here thelast two years playing for us, and I think he's doinga good job. So we're a little more veteran on theedges then with James in the center.The big thing now is moving the guardsalong. They had a tough challenge. We said aweek ago going into it, they had two excellentinside players, and they do. They're both excellentfootball players. It's interesting. We match upagainst a team right now that's got two excellentinside guys. Both those guys have played very
November 6, 2012 
visit our archives at asapsports.com 
Coach Ferentz - 11 06 12 
 well for a long time. They're a little different styleof player, but they're both good players and they'rehuge. Both of those guys are huge.Purdue has probably got one of the biggerfronts you're going to play against defensively,including their outside linebacker. He's a big guy.So they have five big bodies up front.
Q. You mentioned on theteleconference the lack of execution. Is thatfrom everybody? Is it from the new guys thatyou put in there? Can you go into that a littlemore?
COACH FERENTZ: Yeah, everybody'sgot a hand in it. As you might imagine typicallynewer players tend to make more mistakes, and Ithink that's how it works. That's probably notunusual, and it's certainly the case here. Just onething affects the other.We've got to get in better sync. We've gotto execute better in the critical situations,especially. But yeah, it's a team thing. We win asa team typically and lose as a team. We're notquite there. Then the other part of that discussionis consistency.
Q. Does that surprise you?
COACH FERENTZ: Nothing surprises me.Every game is different, and every team is differentweek to week, I think. I think that's not the wordchoice I would use. But that's football too.
Q. You're two years through with yourrecruiting class --
COACH FERENTZ: I'd say at least, yeah.
Q. Will the way you close the seasonimpact the way you complete the class?
COACH FERENTZ: I've never said wewouldn't look at a JUCO. Eric Simmons camefrom Iowa last year. So we've had several. Thereality of it is, and I'm going off my history at thisschool, junior college players don't, as a rule,always transition in as well. That hasn't been ourmode. But there are some schools where it'sprobably more workable.But to answer the question, I mean, it's avery dynamic process. We're always evaluatingand looking. If you've got X-amount ofscholarships left, what are our best options?Where do we need to use them the most? That's afluid process.That's always, you know, if we were 9-0right now, we'd be having the same discussions.What is the best way to fill out this class? It's notalways as easy as that, because some things areout of your control in terms of making decisionsand that type of thing too. So it's something you'realways measuring. But it certainly is different toyour first point about just the early commitments. Itchanges things a little bit.
Q. The big plays on both sides of theball haven't been there like they've been in thepast. Is there anything you can pinpoint as towhy that might be the case?
COACH FERENTZ: Personnel andexecution, typically. It's probably about as simpleas that.
Q. What did Micah did to earn hiscaptaincy back?
COACH FERENTZ: The question is whatdid he do to lose it? I think we all know what thatis, so that is one of the penalties he faced. He hadseveral. So that part has been paid, now he'seligible again. It's kind of a no-brainer. Micah is atremendous young guy, a tremendous footballplayer. That's not taking anything away from ChrisKirksey. I say the same thing about Chris.
Q. What did Nico Law do to get movedinto the starting lineup?
COACH FERENTZ: We have a lot ofpositions that are competitive. You like that atevery position. It doesn't always work that way.But he's been gaining ground and doing somethings. He plays with a lot of energy, but he hasn'tplayed that much. So Tommy certainly hasn'texperienced edge that way. And it's not like thereis a right answer, typically.But I thought Nico did a good job. Firsttime he played a significant amount of time, and it'ssomething he can build off of certainly. I thinkmoving forward, one thing about playing, I think itmakes you smarter if you let it during practice andas you get ready for the next game. As soon asyou start to garner some experience, it can helpyou if you'll let it and make it. That is a player's jobto take that experience and make it work to theiradvantage.
Q. Your concepts in the passing game,is that something Greg Davis is arguing for,because in the beginning you said you’ll dowhat your players do best?
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Coach Ferentz - 11 06 12 
 COACH FERENTZ: What concept are wetalking about specifically?
Q. The short, quick passing game?
COACH FERENTZ: I know the questioncame up, catches and out routes, and I wasn'tthinking quickly enough. The touchdown cameand scored against Penn State. It was just a quickhitch out there. One guy beat one guy, and that'stalking about explosivenesss. Coincidentally, theplay that Michigan State beat Indiana at the end ofthe game, is the same play to the left side. Theythrew a quick ball out to, I believe, it was theirfreshman receiver. He beat the DB and scored atouchdown.I kind of get this concept stuff for shortthrows, long throws all that stuff. But it's really alittle bit more intricate than that. I'm not trying togive a lecture or anything like that.But passing games tend to, the stereotypeof the old Oakland Raiders, Al Davis, JohnMadden, throw the ball down there 400 yards andhad Olympic sprinters on the outside. That wasn'tfar from the truth. But you try to do what's best foryour players, and you also try to do what's best forthe situation. There is a lot of thought that goesinto that. Doesn't always work out, but that's whatwe try to do for 14 years.
Q. The current situation though, is itmore what Greg wants for his offense, or is itwhat your personnel are capable of executing,giving them the best chance to execute?
COACH FERENTZ: I think first of all, I'llsay this: Greg is a tremendous coach, tremendousperson, really an outstanding coach. Mostcoaches I've been around that are really good --and I've been really lucky in my career to bearound a lot of good ones -- everything starts withwhat can your players do? That's where it alwaysstarts. No matter where you are, what you'redoing. If you're coaching well, you have to do that.So I think that's usually the goal we have at thebeginning of every week.Like recruiting, it's a very fluid discussion.Who is doing what, and what is the injury situationand all those different types of things. But there isa lot of thought that goes into it.
Q. Do you try to find the answer forthat week? I mean, the target moves everyweek with every team.
COACH FERENTZ: Yeah, you don'tchange your wardrobe every week, at least goodteams don't. You can't. Not unless guys just getwiped out, then that's a different discussion. But tothink that you're going to go from being a two tightend, two back team to a four wideout team, that'sprobably not realistic.So, yeah, you go with what you have. Alot of things play into it - your opponent, injuries, allthose types of things.
Q. Kirk, you could argue that James,your son, is playing as well as anybody on thisteam. Were you tempted to give Vandenbergthe ball on Saturday and have him run behindhim?
COACH FERENTZ: That was our planuntil the clock got stopped. They called for areview. It would have been a dead play had we,based on what I saw, it would have probably beena dead play. Anyway, but, yeah.
Q. The fact that James moved to centerand is playing so well , did that…
COACH FERENTZ: Not necessarily. Youdon't want to run sneak with a bad center. But youdon't want to play with a bad center, if you canavoid it. They can take the sneak away too. It'slike anything in defense, if you can take somethingaway. It's one of those deals.
Q. Fourth-down decisions, you’ll havethem again. Is it a card deal or what goes intoyour decision making?
COACH FERENTZ: I got to get one ofthose cards. You go on what you think is best.Like every decision you try to make is what do youthink is best for your team at that given moment. Idon't think I have to explain what the thoughtprocess would have been Saturday. Based on theclock, timeouts, all those types of thing, I think youcan figure that out, connect the dots.You could argue I made an irrationaldecision at Michigan State, because we had gottenstuffed on some short yardage stuff at MichiganState. We went for it on 4th and 1, converted, andended up scoring. Every situation is different. It'skind of like we were talking about earlier aboutyour game planning and the way you do things.It's week to week. How is the team playing? Howare they executing? Who is in the lineup? Thosetypes of things. You're probably going to be righthalf the time.

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