Dec. 4, 2004
No. 3 Auburn defeated No. 15 Tennessee, 38-28, in the SEC Championship game in Atlanta Saturday night, and No. 12 Iowa's opponent in the 2005 Capital One Bowl will likely be No. 13 LSU.
Head Coach Kirk Ferentz sat down with the Iowa football media seconds after the victory in the middle of halftime at the Iowa-UNC-Greensboro men's basketball game.
"Either way, we knew we would have a tough draw for us," Ferentz said. "They've got talented players and they're well coached."
Ferentz and Tigers' coach Nick Saban have a long history.
The two worked for the Cleveland Browns in the early 1990s, and then Saban coached against Ferentz while at Michigan State in 1999. The Spartans won that game 49-3.
"He's an exceptional football coach, and what he's done at LSU is not surprising," Ferentz said. "Nick is a serious and focused guy - a very serious and a very focused guy. And just by the results he gets you can see it works."
Ferentz said that some graduate assistants had already broken down some LSU tape, and that practice restarted for the Big Ten co-champion Hawkeyes on Friday.
"We started full force yesterday, and because of the calendar this year we should get in more work before we leave, and that's one thing that will help us out."
Head Coach Kirk Ferentz
"They were rooting for Auburn to win so their work wouldn't go down the drain," Ferentz said. "We started full force yesterday, and because of the calendar this year we should get in more work before we leave, and that's one thing that will help us out."
The team is set to depart for Orlando, FL., on Thursday, Dec. 23, and the team should follow a routine similar to last year when the Hawkeyes departed early before the Outback Bowl.
And says Ferentz, "From the guys who've gone in advance and scouted everything, this is going to be a tremendous opportunity for our players."
Ferentz reported that the only questionable player - other than those already known to be out for the rest of the season - is senior offensive linesman Pete McMahon, who underwent surgery over the Thanksgiving holiday.
"He's going to be out a couple of weeks, and it's unfortunate that he got hurt, but luckily we have a few weeks before we have to play," he said.
Barry Pump, hawkeyesports.com