The momentum that a team gets after running a fake punt successfully can be really difficult to overcome on game day. Often times a big special teams play like that can lead to the momentum swing that end up turning the of a game.
In Iowa's only two losses, both Northern Illinois and Michigan State converted on fake punt calls, and Ferentz said yesterday that he doesn't want to set up a return on the punt unit for the rest of the season. Just a few weeks earlier, punt returner Kevonte Martin-Manely became just the third player in Big Ten history to return two punts for touchdowns.
But for Ferentz, the risk doesn't outweigh the reward, and from the sounds of it, he's dead serious about not setting up a punt return for the rest of the year.
“If you pressed me today I’d say we may never return a punt again, just because when you do that, you have to turn and go with those guys to shadow them. When you do that you open the door. And Michigan State did a pretty good job of taking advantage of it, to their credit."
"What helped us a couple of weeks ago we paid for on Saturday and cost us a field goal and a possession. So, yeah, I may be leaning towards where you never see us try to return one again. We may just try to catch it and keep it off the ground."
"I was being dead serious, yeah.” Ferentz added.
Here's a great look at the fake punt Michigan State successfully executed against the Hawkeyes this past Saturday, and you can see what Ferentz is talking about.
Dantonio, who has a knack for catchy trick play names like "Little Giants", reportedly labeled this one "Hey Diddle Diddle".