If you enjoy watching offense, don’t tune in to the University of Iowa’s football games on Saturdays.
During the 2021 season, Iowa ranked 120th out of 130 college football teams in total offense with 303.9 yards per game. Through two games so far this season, the Hawkeyes rank dead last with just 316 total yards (158 yards per game) between the two games. Not only does that rank last in college football, they are 72 yards per game behind the next-worst team, New Mexico State.
So, what’s happening? Who should be blamed?
Head coach Kirk Ferentz has been the longest-tenured FBS head coach with one program, leading Iowa as the all-time wins leader. He’s been remarkable during his time with the Hawkeyes, but offensive struggles beginning in 2017 have minimized his success in recent years. Unironically, that was the first season that Brian Ferentz was promoted to be Iowa’s offensive coordinator. The yards per game rank has never looked worse for the Hawkeyes, and they only seem to be getting worse.
There has never been a worse stretch of offensive football in the Kirk Ferentz era worse than the Brian Ferentz as OC era (2017-present)…
Yards per game (rank) / Points per game (W-L record)
Phil Parker & Lavar Woods deserve so much credit. pic.twitter.com/rha5H5LCp7
— HawkeyesChronicles (@HawksChronicles) September 11, 2022
But, what’s the solution?
Kirk Ferentz is not the problem. Both the defense and special teams have been unbelievable in recent years, already starting the 2022 season with a strong showing. It’s his son’s offense that has been horrifically abysmal.
It starts at quarterback: Spencer Petras, a third-year starter, has looked horrid through the first two games of the season. In the two games, he’s completed 23-of-51 attempted passes, totaling just 201 yards while throwing two interceptions in the process. Through two games, Petras has the lowest QBR in all of football at an alarmingly low 3.4.
While Iowa did lose a significant number of players from their offense from a year ago, Petras has shown no growth in his position. It is the redshirt senior’s third year as the starter and fifth year in the program; he has gotten worse, not better.
Anyone associated with the development of the quarterback position for Iowa should be concerned for their job security immediately. It’s alarming how he has not grown whatsoever. The Iowa offense looks grim, but the Ferentz’s refuse to make a change at the quarterback position. Is Petras really the best they have?
Alex Padilla is the backup for the Hawkeyes, but has yet to see a snap so far this season. He started a handful of games a year ago, with the Hawkeyes going undefeated against three Big Ten opponents in those games. But, the junior has not gotten a look so far this season, and he won’t at the beginning of Saturday’s game against Nevada.
Petras’ teammates Sam LaPorta and Riley Moss, two players who will likely be drafted at the end of this season, have shown support for Petras during this week. Petras also spoke to the media about what is being said about him on social media, saying, “I’m sure I know what’s out there, and I don’t give a shi–. My focus is on my own game.”
Regardless, Petras will be under center when the Hawkeyes host Nevada on Saturday. The Wolf Pack are 2-1 on the year, but are coming off a loss to Incarnate Word where they allowed 55 points.
Will this be the week Petras and the Hawkeyes finally break out offensively?