Stoops and Ferentz Give Final Thoughts Before Insight Bowl
TEMPE, Arizona - The time for final preparations has arrived. Thursday afternoon Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops and Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz held their final press conference before Friday's Insight Bowl game.
The two coaches, who spent time together coaching at Iowa years ago met to shake hands and talk with reporters one final time giving their final thought before the matchup.
"I've been very pleased with the work of our players and their attention to being on time to everything and they have been really good in meeting and have practiced really well, so I feel like we have taken the necessary steps in these days to give ourselves an opportunity to play well," said Stoops.
"We're eager to get to the game tomorrow night and play an outstanding team and it's certainly going to be a challenge for us, but it's one we are looking forward to," added Ferentz.
Both coaches kept it simple in talking about the game and said that their preparation this week has been key to giving themselves a chance to win.
"Our motivation is any time you take the field is to win another football game," said Stoops. "We have a chance to win our 10th this year and our guys have worked hard leading up to the game to give ourselves a chance for it."
"When you look at them offensively the pace of their offense is very unique and then Landry Jones, it's amazing the parallels of last year's game when we played Blaine Gabbert of Missouri. Now we face another quarterback that can throw the football really well so it's going to be a real challenge for us defensively," said Ferentz.
Coach Ferentz also said that when it comes to the Belldozer package and using Blake Bell to power in touchdowns—that's something that's hard to simulate, but that they have done their best using a series of guys.
"That's a tough one, there are a lot of tough things that are hard to simulate and that's something very unique to Oklahoma and it's been very successful for them… we've used series of guys, but it's nothing like the real thing. We are going to do our best there with it, we certainly don't have a quarterback that looks like that—we don't have any tight ends that look like that either. Obviously the pace they play at offensively is a tough thing to simulate and tough thing to defend once you get out on the field," said Ferentz.
"We're not a huge man team, so we are primarily a zone team and will try to get pressure with our front four (on defense). Like any game you are going to try and mix some things in there, but the bottom line is that we are really going to have to play team defense," said Ferentz. "They've got a lot of outstanding players out, but they've also go a lot of outstanding players still on their team that are going to be out there playing."
For the Sooners, one man that will play a variety of spots on defense is Tony Jefferson who Coach Stoops said have to do a variety of things well in order to get a stop.
"He, along with everybody are going to have to support the secondary in different ways. Tony is a guy that will have to tackle well and be in position and read the run and pass properly just like the other safety will."
The Hawkeyes will be without a few players in Friday's game, most notably without tight end Brad Herman.
"Overall we are fairly healthy," said Ferentz. "We have had a little vomiting and sickness going through that shifted to another guy today, but the good news is that it's a 24-hour type. The position of note would probably be the tight end position. It doesn't look like Brad Herman is going to be able to make it he had a bad foot sprain that didn't require surgery but it hasn't responded so he won't play. Ray Hamilton has a little bit of a knee issue that hasn't responded either so I don't think he will play and Quinton Alston will be held out medically too."
For a handful of senior players on both squads, tomorrow is the last game of their college career, and for Coach Stoops he remembers some of the big wins they have enjoyed together.
"They've done an excellent job. They have been a part of several Big 12 Championships and just a year ago beating Nebraska for the final Big 12 Championship and winning the Fiesta Bowl so these guys have done a nice job."
Oklahoma and Iowa will kickoff at 9 p.m. Friday Dec. 30 from Tempe Arizona.