The Iowa Offense Has Been Struggling For Quite Sometime, And They’re Finally Ready To Make A Difficult But Necessary Change
The Brian Ferentz era at Iowa is nearing its conclusion. The writing’s on the wall, and it’s not surprising. Brian, son of the legendary Hawkeyes head coach Kirk Ferentz, is stepping away from the program after this season. The word comes straight from Iowa’s athletic director, Beth Goetz, and it’s got the college football world buzzing.
University of Iowa confirms this will be Brian Ferentz’s final season as Hawkeye Offensive Coordinator, and with Iowa program.
Interim AD Beth Goetz says Brian Ferentz will remain with program through the bowl game.
Goetz: “Anyone who loves Iowa football recognizes both the… pic.twitter.com/5WSq92qpbK
— Keith Murphy (@MurphyKeith) October 30, 2023
Iowa’s Offense Has Been Downright Terrible
Let’s just call a spade a spade. Brian Ferentz’s tenure as Iowa’s offensive coordinator hasn’t exactly been a thrilling highlight reel. In fact, it’s been more of a bloopers compilation, especially in recent years. If you’ve watched Iowa football lately, you probably winced more than you cheered when the offense took the field.
For context, here’s the reality check: Iowa’s offense, under Ferentz’s guidance, has been living in the basement of college football. This season, they hit rock bottom. Dead last – that’s 133 out of 133 FBS teams – in total offense. They’re eking out just 232.4 yards per game, and on a per-play basis, it’s a measly 4.12 yards. If points win games, Iowa’s offense is not helping, with a pitiful 19.5 points per game, ranking 120th in the nation. And with all that said, this is still somehow a 6-2 football team.
I mean what else needs to be said?
Iowa’s offense has become the joke of college football! pic.twitter.com/ljOFg77wrf
— Iowa Punt Returner (@IAPuntReturner) September 24, 2023
The worst part is that this has been the trend, this is the new normal for Iowa football for the last couple of years. This isn’t just an off-year. No, the Hawkeyes have been staggering on offense for a few years running. In 2022, they were 130th in total offense, 129th in yards per play, and 123rd in points. The 2021 season wasn’t a whole lot better. They ranked in the triple digits nationally in all those categories.
Iowa Is Somehow Still Competitive
The ironic part? Despite this offensive ineptitude, Iowa has managed to stay competitive in the Big Ten West. That’s largely thanks to a sturdy defense and some special teams magic. Kirk Ferentz’s team knows how to grind out wins, even when the offense is stuck in neutral.
This season, Iowa’s been holding on to a 6-2 record and a share of the division lead. Not bad, right? Well, except for their most recent game – a 12-10 defeat to Minnesota where they could only muster 127 offensive yards, including a meager 12 in the second half. Ouch.
All this coaching drama might be a distraction, but the Hawkeyes must make a change, especially when the potential for a division title is in sight. And it certainly was a tough situation as the OC who is struggling is the son of the head coach who has built this program into a very good one in the Big Ten. Beth Goetz emphasized that Iowa’s focus is on long-term success, which means ensuring that the program isn’t wasting its excellent defense and special teams efforts on an offense that’s, well, offensive.
So, as the dust settles on the Ferentz era, Iowa football is at a crossroads. A reinvigorated offense could turn them into Big Ten powerhouses, and the time for change is now. Let’s see who they bring in to light a fire under the Hawkeye offense and if they can capitalize on the strong foundation Kirk Ferentz has built over the years.