The Iowa football team is struggling so much that even a field goal was a chore that required two punts and two fumbles. Oct 8, 2022; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes head coach Kirk Ferentz during the first half against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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.

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