Here's what Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz was talking about on this morning's Big Ten teleconference:

On Saturday's loss to Northwestern and this weekend's game with Ohio State: "It was a tough weekend for our football team. Certainly disappointing to lose, credit goes to Northwestern. It was a tough experience. We've licked our wounds, I think, and now we travel to Columbus and another challenging environment. Hopefully we'll have a great week of practice.''

On the play that knocked Ricky Stanzi out of the game, if a facemask penalty should have been called: "To be honest, I haven't thought about. My thoughts were elsewhere.

On the holding call that negated a Brandon Wegher touchdown in the Northwestern game: "There are a lot of holds that could be called in college football games.''

On reports on if Stanzi had surgery: "He sprained his ankle severely. It is correct that he had surgery. We had a medical meeting this morning and I confirmed that. It did take place. We think he'll be just fine. It's very doubtful that he will play in the next two weeks.''

On if he could return for a bowl: "It's possible, but I'm an optimist.''

On how important is to be able to bounce back: "It's a 12-game season. It's a long race that has to get run and every lap counts. So far, we've done well in nine out of 10, that's a positive. We didn't get it done last week and credit goes to the opponent. This week is important. Next week is important, too.''

On if he expects a better performance this week from QB James Vandenberg: "James, and I think John Weinke is the same way, both are quality players. All first-time players when they go in there for the first time in their careers it is a difficult exposure. When you're a quarterback, what you do is more evident than if you go in at offensive guard. It won't be an easy environment to walk into. He's a hard worker, extremely conscientious, and he'll be better this week and next and we feel good about what he'll do.''

On if he wishes Iowa had won earlier games by a larger margin, facilitating the chance to get Vandenberg additional work: "We've had a lot of close game. I think it would have made a big difference, but that's speculative, too. When you have a margin of victory, that's an advantage. It's a little like having extra practices before a bowl, something that can be an advantage. That hasn't been our team this year. We've had to fight hard every day. It would have been nice. It would have paid off, maybe. He'll be better Saturday.''

On how difficult it is going to Ohio State to compete: "There are many difficult venues in our league. Penn State was a tough place to go. Wisconsin was a tough place to go. East Lansing was tough. This team we're playing this week is outstanding. Tough place, tough team, we have another challenge on our hands.''

On if he plans to give Vandenberg most of the reps in practice this week: "James was our No. 2 quarterback. He is our No. 1 quarterback since our No. 1 is out. James will take reps with the first group and John will with the second.''