Here's what Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz said before the Big Ten Championship game against Michigan
IOWA CITY — It's championship week in Iowa City.
The No. 12 Hawkeyes (10-2) will face No. 3 Michigan (11-1) in Saturday's Big Ten title game at 7:17 p.m. (CT) inside Indianapolis' Lucas Oil Stadium. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz met with the media Tuesday to discuss the matchup and beyond.
On the decision that Spencer Petras will start over Alex Padilla
"Spencer will start the game," Ferentz said. "It was a gut feeling (Friday). We kind of just went with it, and we'll continue to do that moving forward. But we'll start the game with Spencer. I thought he did a good job. He's done a lot of good things over two years here right now. We haven't forgotten about that at all."
On the overall QB plan for Saturday
"We'll keep every option open, all possessions," Ferentz said. "One thing we wanted to make sure Alex understood when (he was starting) and Spencer was healthy was we didn't want Alex looking over his shoulder. Same thing for Spencer. Whomever is in, they've got to play. And we'll handle it as we go. We don't want a guy looking over his shoulder and start that situation. That's not good for anybody."
On Deuce Hogan entering the transfer portal
"It's unfortunate. We don't want to lose any player," Ferentz said. "And we've had a few who've chosen to transfer out. Usually when players have that thought, my first question is, 'Have you spent a lot of time thinking about it? Who have you talked to?' Those types of things. Then the second question is, 'Do you need more time to make a decision?'
"With a quarterback, it's a little different as we know. The portal has changed the world a little bit, but I've always looked at quarterbacks separately. We've had three guys, and I talked to Deuce about this, who have left here and all did very well in their next stops. My guess is he'll do the same thing. But the quarterback position is unique in recruiting. They commit earlier, typically, because there are limited seats. ... He wants to get somewhere where he feels like he has a little better opportunity. Fully support him. He's a tremendous young guy."
On postgame comment after Nebraska win regarding QB situation: 'If it was Deuce, with all due respect to Deuce, I might’ve stayed in Iowa City.'
"I brought it up to him, and in retrospect, I wish I hadn't named a name," Ferentz said. "In a team meeting, hopefully everyone would laugh. Bottom line is I'm not going to coach a player through the media or say something hurtful or malicious to a player. To me, that's not appropriate. And I did share that with the team on Sunday. I just wanted to make sure that if I have an issue with any player, we'll have a private visit. I don't want to air that kind of stuff out publicly. It was by no means that way. But in retrospect, I wish I hadn't have said it, quite frankly."
On defensive secondary's health
"Matt Hankins, unfortunately, will not be ready and is probably going to miss the bowl game too," Ferentz said. "He's not going to be able to go, but he'll be with us obviously. That's disappointing, especially for Matt. Just feel really bad for him because he's done a great job and has had a great career. This would've been great for him to be in this game certainly.
"I think (Terry Roberts will be available). He's been able to practice. We're not out of the woods yet, but I think we're getting close. It's been a long, tough pass. It's a bone bruise basically, and it's just been hard. There's no way really to accurately predict how long a guy's going to be out, but he seemed pretty functional (Monday) and (Tuesday). It seems like his spirits are up, which is good.
"Jermari (Harris) has done a good job, so that's something we'll talk about (if Roberts starts if he can go). He went from being a young kid who's never played to having a couple of games under his belt. ... We're keeping our fingers crossed, but we'll hopefully have three guys (healthy at corner) who have some experience. Terry will help us on special teams too. Getting him back there will be a real bonus. He's got to finish the week out but it looks good."
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.