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Keeler: Ferentz comes clean on clock management and DJK

[ 8 ] October 26, 2010 |

If only he could do that last drive over again ...

Iowa City, Ia. — Kirk Ferentz can be an entertaining — and self-deprecating — listen a few days after a tough loss. And this afternoon was no exception.

The Hawkeyes’ football coach offered up a mea culpa — or as much of one as he could muster — for the foibles that haunted his team’s final 12 seconds against Wisconsin and shed more light on his backstage relationship with record-setting wide receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos.

First, though, to clock management — or lack thereof in the waning minute of last Saturday’s 31-30 loss to the Badgers. In a move that left Iowa fans seething on talk radio and message boards, Ferentz had quarterback Ricky Stanzi call a timeout — the Hawkeyes’ last timeout — rather than spike the ball to stop the clock with 12 seconds left at Wisconsin’s 39-yard line.

On the next play, Stanzi was pressured and forced to toss a short, desperation shovel pass at running back Adam Robinson, who was too far inside the hashmarks to get out of bounds before time expired.

“In retrospect, I wish we had clocked it,” Ferentz told reporters during his weekly news conference today. “We thought the clock was going to be down under 12 (seconds) … in retrospect, I wish we’d clocked it.”

The Hawkeyes also left four special teams points out on the field — a blocked extra point in the first quarter and a muffed field-goal attempt in the second, both apparently as a result of bad snaps.  When asked if he’d have done anything differently if he could do the Badgers game over again, Ferentz replied:

“Yeah, a lot of things — but you don’t get that opportunity. You live it and hopefully, you learn from it.”

Later, Ferentz delved into more detail about his sometimes contentious relationship with Johnson-Koulianos, who hasn’t spoken to writers since Media Day back in August.

When a reporter asked the coach why the Iowa receiver hadn’t been made available to the press after breaking the program’s all-time career receiving yardage record at Michigan two weeks ago, he replied:

“I did offer him, for the record, we did offer the opportunity (to address the media) after (the game) … and he declined it. So maybe he is — I mean, one thing I’ve always told him, I tell everybody, ‘that (the) less said, the less you have to take back.’ I think he’s maybe caught onto that a little bit. I’m sure he’s going to tell all in January (after the bowl game), so …

“It was a sincere offer: ‘Go ahead and talk if you want.’ But I think he’s got a good thing going. I think he’s in a groove, he’s in a mode, so — why screw that up? I didn’t ask him, I’m guessing that’s what he’s thinking.”

As for their off-the-field banter, well …

“I mean, we don’t have a lot in common, based on previous conversations. But I think we both like football, so we talk on that topic. But yeah, I think what he reads and listens to is probably different than mine. I could say that a about a lot of guys on our team. That doesn’t make him a bad guy. He’s not a bad guy. It’s just …

“He likes the limelight a lot more than I do. He’d be a great head coach. You guys would love him. Press conferences would go four hours a day. And … there wouldn’t be enough things for ya.

Yeah, but would he last as a head coach?

“I’m not commenting on that. But he’d be having fun and you guys would be having fun,” Ferentz said with a chuckle.

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Sean Keeler: Sean Keeler has been a sports columnist at The Des Moines Register since 2002. Got a story tip, comment, complaint? E-mail him at skeeler@dmreg.com. You can follow him on twitter at twitter.com/seankeeler or on Facebook at facebook.com/smkeeler. View author profile.

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