Highlights from the Holiday Bowl press conference

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz and USC head coach Clay Helton took to the podium to discuss Friday’s Holiday Bowl.


Shivansh Ahuja

USC head coach Clay Helton (left) speaks with Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz during the 2019 SDCCU Holiday Bowl Coaches Press Conference in the Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego on Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019.

Pete Ruden and Anna Kayser

One day before the Holiday Bowl, Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz and USC head coach Clay Helton discussed Friday’s Big Ten/Pac-12 matchup.

The teams don’t receive the opportunity to face programs from the other conference very often, making the Holiday Bowl matchup even more important.

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz on the team being 100 percent healthy:

“Yeah, unless somebody gets hit by a bus today. Hopefully, we can get through today and tomorrow. We always seem to have some drama.”

USC head coach Clay Helton on his team’s trip to SeaWorld:

“Yesterday being at SeaWorld, I literally got to see 21-year-olds turn back into 12. That was something to see and a great experience for our football team.”

Ferentz on Hawkeye fans traveling:

“I took a walk last night and saw a lot of black and gold all over the place. It’s great. From what I hear, the stadium is going to be really electric tomorrow night, great crowds from both sides.”

Helton on members of his team potentially leaving for the NFL:

“There’s some guys that are going to be Sam Darnold and be a top-three pick, and you say, ‘You know what, you’re not going to be drafted any higher. This is as high as you can go. So if you choose to make this decision, man, I support you. That’s why you came to USC.'”

Ferentz on bowl games:

“It always helps to finish on a positive note. There’s no denying that, but it’s not the end of the world either. It’s not catastrophic if you lose. It’s all about enjoying the game. Going out and playing as hard as you can like you do every week, and hoping that you play well enough to deserve to win, and that’s our goal for tomorrow.”

Helton on USC quarterback Kedon Slovis:

“It’s been neat to see him — I’m a quarterback coach by trade and to watch a young man grow from game one to where he is now, that’s what you want to see as a head coach, especially at the quarterback position.”

Ferentz on quarterback Nate Stanley’s last game: 

“We’re all going to miss him, but we’re glad he’s with us for one more game. I know he’s looking forward to having a chance to compete one more time as a Hawkeye.”

Helton on the Holiday Bowl preparing USC for the future

“We are going to look at this game and the focus and the preparation that we put into it. It’s going to be very similar next year. You look at our schedule next year, there’s probably six top-25 opponents that are going to be on that schedule. So, what a great opportunity and a great experience for our kids to be down here in San Diego competing against a team like the University of Iowa.”

View more photos from the press conference

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