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Michael Ojemudia breaks down defensive chemistry, success Dargan Southard, msouthard@gannett.com

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IOWA CITY, Ia. — As Iowa’s offensive hiccups take center stage through two weeks, Kirk Ferentz said Tuesday that quarterback Nate Stanley is “pressing a little bit” as he tries to get the Hawkeyes going.

Stanley is 27-for-51 for 274 yards, a touchdown and an interception heading into Week 3's 6:30 p.m. game against Northern Iowa at Kinnick Stadium.

“You can’t aim a ball — I know that — when you throw something,” Ferentz said at Tuesday’s press conference. “So I think (Stanley’s) doing a little bit of that right now, trying to be too perfect. And we’re just not quite there in terms of sync. Just going to keep working at it. There’s no pixie dust or pill we give a guy.”

Ferentz added that he believes the offensive issues are “a lot of little things” that can be corrected as the season wears on.    

‘The right thing to do’

Ferentz is a coach who often leans on history throughout his news conferences, and Tuesday was no different. He highlighted the closeness of the last three Iowa-UNI matchups: 2014 (31-23), 2012 (27-16) and the memorable 2009 game, which the Hawkeyes only won with two blocked field goals in the final seconds.

The two teams haven’t met since, in light of the Big Ten’s previous ban on playing FCS teams. Ferentz said it’s “good for the state” that Iowa teams play each other in football.

“I think it’s the right thing to do," Ferentz said. “I think it’s something we should all embrace.”   

Redshirt plan

Ferentz, like all coaches across college football, is managing how to most effectively use the new redshirt rule. A true freshman can now appear in up to four games without burning that extra eligibility.

"It’s something we’re obviously keeping track of," Ferentz said. “I don’t know that we’ll have a discussion this week on it. We kind of have an idea of what the working potential participants are. Then injuries affect that. Henry (Geil’s) playing running back right now, because we’re thin at this point. And we were thin on Saturday. So that impacts it, too.

“The first objective is winning games. We kind of came in with a tentative (redshirt) plan in August, and the idea was to reassess things over the bye week. That’s kind of where we’re at right now.”      

Captains

Ferentz named Parker Hesse, Nate Stanley, Matt Nelson and Brady Ross as Saturday’s captains against the Panthers.

Dargan Southard covers Iowa and UNI athletics, recruiting and preps for the Des Moines Register, HawkCentral.com and the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Email him at msouthard@gannett.com or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.

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