Press conference with Coach Roberts


Obviously, we're disappointed looking back at last week and the opportunities to win the ball game, and

we didn't cash in on them. Nothing to hang our heads about at all, our effort was tremendous throughout

the course of the ball game from start to finish. We're very proud of that. I know for a fact that if we play

with that type of effort and take advantage of some opportunities, we'll present ourselves with a chance to

strive to meet out goals, so I'm excited about that. There's nothing to hang our heads about. We've lost

to a Top-20 team in Nebraska and three-time defending (Sun Belt Conference) champion in Troy, and we

have nine ball games left.


I am certainly excited about getting back on the field. Preparation so far this week has been really, really

good. I'm proud of the way our football team has attacked our preparations for the University of Iowa,

and we know we have a tremendous challenge in going to Iowa and playing a tremendous football team.

Iowa is a team that is extremely physical at every position. They play hard-nosed, physical football.


Offensively, they're led by their quarterback Stanzi, who does a real good job of operating in their offense,

and their running backs are extremely physical as well. There is a play in the Penn State game where the

running back, a redshirt freshman running back Robinson, breaks a tackle at the line of scrimmage then

at the second level runs over a DB to score. They do a great job in their running game. Obviously that

starts up front with an experienced and very big offensive line. They play together extremely well. They

bring a lot of tight ends and fullbacks into the game and do some shifts and motions and some things to

try to create an extra gap. The backs do a great job with their vision to get into that extra gap, and it's

going to be a tremendous challenge. Off of the running game, they throw the football effectively with

play-action and some drop back, again showing us a lot of different formations and just playing physical,

smash-mouth football.


It's going to be a very difficult team to defend. We've got to play very physical and get great fits in our run

game in order to have an opportunity to slow them down. It's going to be a tremendous challenge from a

defensive perspective.


From an offensive perspective, again they play very physical football up front. They have great size along

their defensive line. They have great athleticism in the defensive line. They'll roll several guys in and out.

One area of concern is handling all the D-line moves that they do up front, a lot of twist whether it's an

end or a tackle or the two inside guys exchanging gaps. They do a tremendous job of that. They are not

a team that typically brings a whole lot of pressure, but they count on those guys up front to create

pressure. They do a tremendous job of that as well. They don't give up a big play. They have not had a

rushing touchdown on them in 29 quarters. That's a testament to the type of run defense they play. Most

of all, it's tough to get down there. They are playing tremendous defense right now.


Then in the special teams area, again it's going to be another challenge. They have a lot of speed on the

field and do a great job in their coverage game. They do a great job in blocking kicks, and then in their

punting game. They have a tremendous punter who's done a great job of downing people inside the 20.

They play a lot of field position.


If I played a tape today of just Iowa, you would think it was the Pittsburgh Steelers, same uniforms, same

types of athletes at a lot of different positions. They're a heck of a football team. I think our kids are

looking forward to it. Obviously playing on national television is something that is exciting for everyone

involved in our program and great for our University. We've got to go out and continue to try to improve

and play as well as we can to have a chance.

They have played four games and nobody's been able to pick on any certain aspect of their game. The

biggest thing for us is when we have the opportunities to make plays we have to make those plays. We'll

do everything to try to keep them off balance. They're a smash-mouth team that establishes the run.


I don't think Iowa played their best ball game. The level of intensity and effort in that ball game was

different than the Penn State game film. Northern Iowa I thought did a great job of trying to spread them

out. Their quarterback made some plays on the run and kept some plays alive. Defensively, I thought

Northern Iowa did a good job of not giving up some big plays and trying to slow down their running game.

I think they had some first year players up sort of feeling their way through in their first game-time



They don't attack their opponent with a lot of blitzes. They will blitz some, but that's not their defense like

we've seen from our past couple of opponents. With Nebraska and Troy we saw a ton of blitzes. I mean

a ton of them. You won't see as much against Iowa because they are so good at playing technique.

They are so good in their front four, and they don't have to blitz in order to get pressure on the

quarterback. They do a great job in all their line maneuvers and line twists. We have to go in and try to

establish the run and see how they play us and take advantage of what we can take advantage of. Last

week, Troy was committed to stopping the run. They were very good. They had four all conference

players in their front six. We were able to throw the ball effectively at times because they focused on the

run. We just have to wait to how find out how they're going to play us. I think they'll play us fairly

balanced. We will have to win some one-on-one battles to successfully run the football. Iowa's

linebackers are very good. They are very fast. They can run, make plays and don't miss very many

tackles. They're pretty strong. They're a complete defense. They're only giving up 11 points a game.

That tells me that they're good at everything.