Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, speaking on the Big Ten’s first weekly coaches teleconference, said redshirt freshman A.J. Derby has slipped ahead of junior John Wienke as the Hawkeyes’ backup quarterback.
Junior James Vandenberg is entrenched as the starter going into Saturday’s season opener against Tennessee Tech but all those doubts about Derby possibly being switched to some other position apparently are in the past.
“If we played a game tormorrow, which we don’t, A.J. Derby would be the next guy in the game,’’ Ferentz said. “He’s very improved. John Wienke has continued to improve, too … but right now A.J. would be the next guy in the game.’’
Other comments from Ferentz on the teleconference:
On Tennessee Tech:
“They’re a very, very veteran team. I don’t know if we’ve ever played anybody that has 20-some starters back. They finished up on a postivie note last season and we’re going to have our work cut out for us Saturday.’’
On the depth at the running back position:
“Jason White (from Davenport) is an experienced guy who continues to improve and we’re going to find a role for him. We also have D’Andre Johnson and a couple of true freshman who are involved. You’ll probably see a couple of them in the game if not this week then in the next couple of weeks.’’
On the new divisional set-up and championship game for the Big Ten this season:
“I think it makes things a little more interesting for everyone. If you’re fortunate enough to get to Indianapolis, it going to be very exciting. I’ve never been a part of anything like that before.’’