In what has been an unavoidable theme since the season’s first game, Iowa’s football team did next to nothing offensively during Saturday’s 9-6 loss to Big Ten rival, Illinois. And while several different stats can illustrate what happened, the offensive ineptitude can best be summed up when looking at a sequence that resulted in points for the Hawkeyes.
The Fighting Illini took a 6-3 lead on Iowa with a field goal in the second quarter. Without even committing a penalty, the Hawkeyes lost 11 yards and went three-and-out on their next possession, but got a gift on the punt when Illinois fumbled. Iowa failed to take advantage of that break, though, going three-and-out again, losing six yards. Though to be fair, without a false start, the Hawkeyes would have only lost one yard on that possession. Regardless, Iowa was again forced to punt.
Illinois didn’t fumble again, at least not on the punt. But on second down receiver Isaiah Williams fumbled after a reception, giving the Hawkeyes the ball, this time deep in Fighting Illini territory. So, what did Iowa do? If you guessed kick a field goal after losing four yards in three offensive plays, congratulations.
Iowa’s anemic offense has been the subject of a lot of fodder through the early weeks of the season. This was no different, with college football fans continuing to note how consistently bad this offense is — even when points are being scored.
So if I understand right, Iowa just…
-Punted from their own 16
-Recovered a muff at the Illinois 35
-Went 3 plays for -6 yards and punted
-Forced a fumble and recovered at the 5
-Went 4 plays for -4 yards
-Kicked a field goal
A 15-play, -10-yard, 76 punt yard field goal drive.
— Shehan Jeyarajah (@ShehanJeyarajah) October 9, 2022
look i'm tired of the stereotype too but iowa just turned a muffed punt recovery at the illinois 35 into an iowa punt from the illinois 41
— Ryan Nanni (@celebrityhottub) October 9, 2022
Iowa football pic.twitter.com/yggjjvBlaE
— Simon Gibbs (@SimonGibbs26) October 9, 2022
Iowa recovering a fumble at the 5.
And settling for a FG pic.twitter.com/9MzxMviuDL
— austin (@AustinJRoberts) October 9, 2022
Me continuing to watch the Iowa football team every week expecting to be entertained. https://t.co/tzzMdJP0DM
— Tyler Devine (@devine_tyler) October 9, 2022
Iowa's offense converted a muffed punt and a fumble deep in Illinois territory into a field goal! pic.twitter.com/nDgliLp8tW
— Ivan Bologna, the Father of Frankie Lasagna (@PV_GIA) October 9, 2022
People watch Iowa football by choice huh
— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurkeNFL) October 9, 2022
We have some good news and bad news for Iowa fans. The good news? They won’t have to watch the Hawkeyes next week, as Iowa is off. The bad news? When the Hawkeyes resume their season, No. 3 Ohio State will be on the other side of the field.
So, as bad as it’s been so far, the worst may be yet to come.