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Oct. 13, 2012

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MSU vs. Iowa - Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012

Post Game Quotes

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz

Opening statement...
"Obviously just extremely proud of our football team. It was a really hard-fought game. Both teams really competed hard; I think anybody in the stadium today could have seen that. Just really proud about the way the guys hung in there against a very good football team. It was more than 60 minutes, obviously and it took basically every player out there. And outside of the turnover, you can throw all the stats out the window. It was just a hard-fought, one of those tough games."

On his team's defensive performance...
"I think they're growing, and they played extremely hard today. It seemed like they gave a pass there each direction, but outside of that I thought they really competed and, you know, we started out in adverse circumstances and held them to 3 [points], which was a positive, and I just thought they played hard all day long.

"To win on the turnover there at the end...outstanding and probably appropriate...to have an unsung guy was really the trigger guy, really triggered this all, to get his hand on the ball. It's kind of a fitting way. It gave us the chance to get the pick."

On his team's 4th quarter drive to get the game-tying touchdown...
"Again, it was a game where we weren't...at halftime, I can't even imagine what those stats looked like. Really, up until that drive; that and the last series there was series there was the story of the game because we started out 1st and 25 with not a lot of time on the clock, and we hadn't done much up to that point, so James [Vandenberg] hitting Keenan [Davis] - huge play to get us out of the hole - and then great call that 3rd and 6, might have been 3rd and whatever, and had a heck of a run by Mark Weisman, and then Mark finished it off on another good call by Greg [Davis].

"If anybody saw the game...if you take those two plays out, otherwise we gain 100 yards. But that's football. That's just sticking with it. Mark's a tough competitor.

On the game turning in his team's favor in the 4th quarter...
"I felt the turn when it was 1st and 25, and I said `Oh boy, that's not good.' So...huge play by James [Vandenberg] and Keenan [Davis] down the boundary. Then, that third down thing...you know we were playing for two downs there so we took a shot on the run and Mark [Weisman] not only got the first down but then really impacted the game.

"So those two plays...that gave us momentum certainly when we got the ball down inside."

On the performance of his kicker, Mike Meyer...
"Mike has...really turned the corner from a confidence standpoint, maturity standpoint from back in the spring. And just really started performing the way we all hoped he would. He's been good the prior two years, so we don't take it for granted, but boy, his execution was flawless."

On the improvement of his team and getting his 100th victory at Iowa...
"What we've tried to do is work on and focus on what's right in front of us and getting better, and that's what this game is all about, and that's what it teaches you. So you've got to have some mental toughness to do that because every day's not going to go the way you want, certainly not every play is going to go the way you want. And today was a great illustration of that.

"We had some tough circumstances but the guys hung in there and kept working, and I thought we improved during the course of the game in a lot of areas, and we're growing as a football team right now based on the last two weeks.

"As far as [this being] the 100th [career victory] or the 10th, this is a game that I'll remember for a while just because of the way the guys battled and just stuck with it."

On winning a tough game with low statistical yardage gains...
"You get into games [of this nature] where stats don't mean a lot other than protecting the football, and in this series it's been huge - at least the last 6 years - ironically we're dead even. Today we were both minus one - so...direct parallel there. But other than that, the team that turns it over the most is usually the team that loses."

His summary of the game...
"The biggest thing is just the way our guys fought right to the end because they [Michigan State] weren't going away - that was pretty obvious - but I think our guys answered the same way - they said they weren't going away either - and it's one of those games where, you know...last guy standing.

"It was a real great effort by our guys."

Iowa senior cornerback Greg Castillo

On intercepting a pass that's been tipped and has changed direction...
"It's pretty tough. That's why I really concentrated. It was hit once. I had to process it for a little bit."

On winning this game as a senior...
"It's huge now that we know that we've got momentum going into Penn State so it's going to be a tough task."

Iowa Senior Wide Receiver Keenan Davis

On the long first down catch in the fourth...
"It was just an up route and James Vandenberg threw a great ball. It was the play we had to make, luckily we made it and it gave us a spark."

On the Hawkeye victory...
"It was a great win; it was definitely a great win. I was really happy with it, it was a good spark we have in the Big Ten now. It is something to build on, a lot of stuff to learn again, hopefully we can build on it."

On the never give up mentality...
"That's one thing I love about this team, we never give up. The sidelines are always into it. Everybody is talking about nothing but positive things. You notice that and you never give up, you never really feel negative about anything. I think that is a big part of us winning today."

On the offense starting to click in the fourth quarter...
"It was just keep going, don't get down on ourselves, and go out there and move the ball. When you keep going like that, you wear defenses down. You know you keep going hard and block the perimeter, don't show them any weakness and everything will start clicking for the offense."

On the rough conditions on the field...
"It was raining but it's football. You have to go out there and play every game. Luckily we had a practice like this on Tuesday, so that Tuesday practice was a good prep for this game. The thing about Michigan State is their grass is nice so luckily it wasn't too bad. There were definitely some slips but nothing we couldn't handle."

On the importance of the milestone win for Coach Kirk Ferentz...
"Actually I just found out in the locker room. It is just a milestone of his, and it's great. He gave out three (game balls), but he got a fourth honorable mention game ball."

Iowa redshirt-freshman tight end Jake Duzey

On playing a tough game and executing at the end...
"We just kept running our plays and just kept going at it; we didn't falter, didn't step back. We kept going at it."

On the momentum shifting late in the game...
"Once we started making big plays at the end, we just kind of knew that we were in a good spot against a tough team. We like going into those tough kinds of games so the win was good for us."

Did you feel you were always in it?
"Yeah, I mean, we're never going to give up and we're going to keep going until the end and that's what happens. And that's the kind of game we like to play; just a hard fought, hard-nosed game."

On Mark Weisman's contribution to the win today...
"He's a tough running back. Obviously he's a good running back and he keeps going and never stops."

On moving up the depth chart throughout the season and getting more playing time...
"All of the tight ends are very competitive every day; we go out there and compete. We're a unit; we've all been working together and obviously we've been working very hard; everyone's working hard and we'll keep working."

On being unbeaten in the Big Ten and at the top of your division...
"It's awesome, obviously. It's cool being at the top, but we've still got six games left and we're only two games in so we've got to keep pushing and keep working. This will keep our momentum going."

On pulling out the touchdown late in the game...
"Our team never gives up and we're a hard, physical team. We're tough, we don't stop playing, all four quarters, and obviously in overtime we were able to do something."

Iowa sophomore wide receiver Kevonte Martin-Manley

On the thrill of winning at the end...
"Yeah, that was a great win, you know? For me personally, coming back to my home state and getting a big win; it was good. It was good for our team as well and for the future of our season."

On the outstanding performance of the defense...
"They kept fighting. They fought every single play and showed a lot of resiliency today. They play hard and we are glad to come out with the win."

On his team's performance late in the fourth quarter offensively...
"Our running game started to excel. We kept blocking, we stayed on our blocks on the perimeters and Mark (Weisman) was able to find the holes and he was able to get the yards. That was huge. We got that touchdown and got into overtime and it was big for the win."

On the importance of kicker Mike Meyer on a day where conditions are bad and points are hard to come by...
"It's huge, it's something Coach Ferentz preaches so much. He talks about special teams and the importance of it and we need points every day in our kicking game and everyone's focused and it paid off for us today."

On being at the top of the Big Ten...
"It's great. Not a lot people have confidence in us on the outside but among us one hundred guys we know that we can do some pretty special things and we're going to keep fighting. I don't know what's going on with the standings and what's going on in the Big Ten right now and I really can't. When I look at it, you've got to take it one game at a time and that's what we did today. We're going to keep fighting and we can't get too happy with the win. We want to enjoy this and move on next week."

Iowa senior quarterback James Vandenberg

On the execution of the team down the stretch...
"I don't care if they're home or away, the close ones are the ones that really separate the good football teams. I thought we executed very well down the stretch. We made the plays when we had to and we gave ourselves a chance."

On his mood on the field...
"I think they would tell you my demeanor was probably the same as it was with eight minutes left in the second quarter. You just got to keep going, you got to keep trying to execute plays and get us into the best place. The guys did a great job up front with all of the communication and switches. A lot of credit goes to the O-Line and (Mark)Weisman for keeping things on the same page."

On his thoughts on kicker Mike Meyer ...
"I respect what Mike does so much. I love talking to him at practice. He's just a great competitor He's got a natural aura about him. It makes you feel really safe. You really saw the maturity in his class all spring, all fall, as the season has gone on. He's a guy I respect so much and he's just continuing to do a great job for us."

On his thought about the overtime play...
"I knew that they had to feel a little rattled that we came back to make that drive, but I liked our chances. We had been balanced all day. Not very many yards running, but we were balanced, still and able to mix it up and I felt good with that going into overtime."

On what started to click for the Hawkeyes in the fourth quarter...
"I think just that big play kind of got us out to field position. We were at midfield with four and a half minutes left. There was zero rush. We didn't need to get in to multiple receiver sets. We didn't get in with our tight ends and keep that balance. I thought that was big. Third-and-six--that was a call I was really confident in. I knew we were going to go in and try to make them stop our run game with their three-down, which they do so well at. But, Mark (Weisman) made a great run, we opened a hole and he did a great job."

On how Iowa's defense performed...
"They made the other offense struggle as well. A lot of hats go off to our defense for hanging in there and making them kick those field goals. The only touchdown they scored was off of the interception on the first drive, so I thought our defense just did a great job hanging in there and keeping us in the game."

Iowa sophomore fullback Mark Weisman

On the frustration with Iowa's offense...
"It's never good to have three and outs, but as an offense we're confident. We know that we're close. We're missing some easy plays out there, but we kept fighting. That's all you can do is just keep fighting until you get the ball."

On the big play in the fourth quarter (long pass from James Vandenberg to Keenan Davis)...
"That set a spark in us, definitely. It helped us big time. We need that, no doubt. If we don't have that, we don't have that drive."

On what the difference was that made the last play of the game...
"I think we were battling all day and eventually it pays off. We just kept fighting out there, giving punches, keep going and just got it done at the end."

On Iowa's defense...
"Defense is unbelievable out there. They're the only reason we were in the game at all. We give them more credit than anyone out there."

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