Unhappily for Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, Grigsby still a Wildcatby Anthony Gimino on Sep. 14, 2010, under Sports
Lucky for us, Iowa is one of those schools that provides a full, court-reporter-like transcript of its football coach’s weekly news conference. You can read more than 4,500 words of Q&A here.
Or you can have someone parse the parts really relevant to an Arizona fan. You’re welcome.
One note: Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said it was doubtful that defensive coordinator Norm Parker would make the trip to Tucson. Parker, 68, is a diabetic and has been hospitalized recently.
On to the quotes from Tuesday (interesting stuff, I thought, about Nic Grigsby below):
Ferentz’s opening remarks on Arizona:
“We’re playing a team that a year ago we felt was an excellent football team coming into our game. We felt even stronger about that afterwards. They just had a very good football team. Certainly, after our game, they went on and had an excellent season, made a change at quarterback, shifted their philosophy a little bit offensively. And he (Nick Foles) certainly responded and did very well last year.
“And they’re off just to a tremendous start this year. So they’ve got a team that’s got good size, got very athletic players. They’re very experienced, and they’re off to a very, very strong start. And, again, I think it’s all good for them still. So I’m guessing they’ll be a team that’s going to contend for the championship in the Pac-10.”
Q. What do you like about their defense? They’re really thriving, too?
COACH FERENTZ: Yeah, they graduated two very good defensive tackles last year. We thought they were excellent players. All three of their linebackers and a couple of DBs, you won’t even know those guys are gone.
I think they’re at the point — Mike’s been there for a long time. You can see this thing gradually being built. I said a year ago when we played them looked like all their efforts had finally paid off. They were becoming a very good football team the end of the ’08 season. Excellent team last year. Now like most teams they graduate some good players but they’ve got a lot of good guys that have stepped in and done a great job.
So we’re trying to find some weaknesses on that defense. I’m not sure — their linebackers are new. They’re inexperienced, but their older guys, JC guys, a couple of them at least. They’re not like they’re 18 years and just out of high school. It’s going to be a real challenge. They do a nice job keeping them protected.
Q. How about the receiver Criner, Juron Criner, they have a lot of guys that catch the ball, but looks like he’s maybe the most dangerous?
COACH FERENTZ: They do a nice job spreading him around. He’s a big, physical guy. 6’4″ guy. Strong. His size presents some problems. And Douglas is another guy that’s really a good football player. They do a good job getting the ball to their backs. They’ve got three backs the one guy is more of a runner. The other two guys are very good in the passing game. We saw last year firsthand how explosive Grigsby is. You let him loose, it will be bad quick. Good player.
Q. Was there a key to slowing Grigsby down last year?
COACH FERENTZ: It’s easier said than done. Everybody has to be in the right spot. Can’t let him get started. I didn’t say it publicly last year; wouldn’t have been appropriate. But I’ll say it now, I was hoping he would come out in the Draft after our game. Kind of made a mental note of that one. Didn’t happen. Now we get to see him again.
(Note: Grigsby had 11 carries for 75 yards against Iowa last season.)
Q. You mentioned Foles, does he remind you of anybody else you faced?
COACH FERENTZ: I don’t know. I’m not good in the comparison game. But he’s a very good thrower. He’s not looking to run, I’m not saying he can’t run. He doesn’t look to run. Whereas last year Scott, that was his game. Strongest part of his game. And he’s not hanging with the ball back there either. He’s getting it. He gets it out and spreads it around nicely. So they’ve got a lot of guys that can do something with the ball once they get it. They’ve got a good scheme. Looks like he’s really comfortable and confident in the scheme. So that’s the most important thing.