The Iowa offense put up its second lowest yardage mark in 25 years, just the second time a Hawkeye team in the Kirk Ferentz era had tallied less than 100 yards. This despite expectations the team would look different in 2023.

Iowa finished 2022 second to last in total offense. Through three games, they’re third to last (131 of 133). Nothing’s changed, and when a reporter asked Ferentz if he’d reconsider schematics, it didn’t sound like things are going to change.

“We’re not going to create a new playbook, is that what you’re suggesting?” Ferentz responded. “I’m not a wholesale believer in changing things because you had one bad game.”

Iowa’s 31-0 loss to Penn State showed this wasn’t just one bad game, it was a reality check for a coaching staff who swore up and down the players last year weren’t talented or experienced enough to play the way they wanted.

Remember when Brian Ferentz last December said that he did “the best he could with the pieces he had? The team has regressed. And somehow, the quarterback play has, too.

Cade McNamara is completing 50.6% of his passes (Spencer Petras completed 55% last year) and has as many touchdown passes as he does turnovers. Perhaps nobody took the loss harder than the man fans hoped would save the team.

“This is a tough pill to swallow,” McNamara said. “For a lot of guys on this team, this is the worst feeling in the world. I don’t remember the last time I’ve felt this bad about a game, let alone a day in my life.”

For more Hawkeyes coverage, follow @HawkeyeHQ on Twitter and Facebook.

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz reacts during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Penn State, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023, in State College, Pa. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)