By John Bohnenkamp
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Iowa’s first loss of the season was of course going to lead to the usual angst on social media.
Getting blanked 31-0 at Penn State last Saturday just added fuel to that.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, never a fan of anything on the internet, said he hasn’t paid attention.
“I haven’t read it,” Ferentz said on Tuesday. “I don’t know what the narrative is … I could probably figure out what the narrative is, take a good educated guess at it.”
He would be right, of course — the offensive woes of the Hawkeyes’ against the Nittany Lions dominated the social media conversation among Iowa fans, and the local and national media.
But Ferentz has made sure this week to caution his players that noise is just noise.
“I’d be a fool not to acknowledge it,” Ferentz said. “ I don’t look at it and I don’t partake in it. But I’d be a total fool not to acknowledge it and understand the importance.
“So my point there is just, like, you’ve got to really consider the voices, consider the sources and really worry about what is pertinent to your life and your job and what you’re trying to accomplish here. It’s kind of what it is.”
Ferentz gets, though, that social media is just part of what everyone deals with these days.
“I know this — I know it’s important to a lot of people,” Ferentz said. “And most of the people that I work with on a daily basis, especially the younger people, boy, I’ll tell you, I know it’s a huge part of their life.
PATTERSON, JOHNSON STILL OUT: Iowa will be without running backs Jaziun Patterson and Kaleb Johnson for Saturday’s game against Michigan State.
Ferentz said the availability for both backs will be a week-to-week thing.
“I don’t think we’ll know (if they will be able to play in next Saturday’s game against Purdue),” Ferentz said. “If they were out for the season, I’d let you know that, but that’s not the case. Hopefully (they’ll return) sooner than later.
COACHING CHANGES: Iowa will face Michigan State on Saturday, with interim coach Harlon Bennett. Later in the season, the Hawkeyes will play Northwestern, with interim coach David Braun.
They are two programs with coaching changes before or during the season for different reasons — Michigan State replaced head coach Mel Tucker over allegations of sexual harassment, and Northwestern got rid of coach Pat Fitzgerald because of allegations of hazing within the program.
Michigan State has lost both of its games since the Tucker ouster, while Northwestern won its first game of the season last week against Minnesota.
But a coaching change doesn’t mean a team should be taken for granted, Ferentz said.
“First of all, the lesson learned is don’t try to anticipate how that team’s going to play because Northwestern is a great example,” Ferentz said. “I think people had them dead and buried and they didn’t get that memo for sure.”
Coaching changes used to be an offseason move, but not anymore, Ferentz said.
“It’s the world we live in,” Ferentz said. “It started a while ago. Probably the one that was most prominent in my mind was USC making the change when they did, last year, two years ago, whenever that would have been.
“But the more the world changes, the more we’re becoming, moving in that direction. We’re becoming a little more like the NFL.”