Here's what Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz said ahead of facing No. 2 Ohio State

Dargan Southard
Des Moines Register

IOWA CITY — Fresh off a much-needed bye week, Iowa (3-3, 1-2 Big Ten Conference) will look to pull a massive stunner Saturday at No. 2 Ohio State (6-0, 3-0). Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz met with the media Tuesday to discuss the matchup, the state of Iowa football and beyond.

Here's what stood out.

On how Iowa football's offense can take positive steps at Ohio State

"We got knocked back a little bit last time out (at Illinois)," Ferentz said, "so now the challenge is can we get back up on our feet and compete better.

"I've lost count how many guys play on that (Ohio State) defensive line, but they all look pretty good. They go hard, and they're pretty athletic and stout. It's a new challenge, a different kind of challenge than we faced at Illinois."

More:Leistikow's 4 thoughts: Iowa football taking fearless approach as 29-point underdog to Ohio State

On Iowa football's challenge facing Ohio State's explosive offense

"It's tough to knock them off the tracks," Ferentz said. "It's tough to get them behind in the count. Good defenses try to do that to good offenses, try to make them go the long field or third-and-longs, those kinds of things. It's not easy to do with this football team because they're really strong at what they do. They've got explosive capabilities with the receivers.

"It's like the team we played a couple weeks ago (in Michigan). You've got to be on top of your game, or it can be sudden death real fast."

On whether Iowa defensive back Terry Roberts will be available at Ohio State

"Probably not, unfortunately," Ferentz said. "He's got a lower leg injury."

Injury updates on Iowa wide receivers Diante Vines and Keagan Johnson

Vines has been dealing with a wrist injury, while Johnson has been hampered by a hamstring issue.

"I think Diante's got a chance," Ferentz said. "Keagan, when he's ready, I'll let you know. He's still trying to get back."

More:Iowa football defensive coordinator Phil Parker previews Ohio State matchup

On whether Iowa will have defensive lineman Yahya Black available at Ohio State

"Hopefully he'll be back," Ferentz said, "but we'll see. He's closer than he was (before the bye). He sure would help."

Correction: The article has been updated to reflect Vines is dealing with a wrist injury, not a foot injury.

Dargan Southard is a sports trending reporter and covers Iowa athletics for the Des Moines Register and Email him at or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.