The Hawkeyes finished near the bottom of the Big Ten in nearly every offensive category last season, which culminated with an abysmal three-point performance in the conference title game. The Hawkeyes finished 10th and 13th in scoring and yards per game, respectively. At Iowa’s media session last Friday, it didn’t take a hawk’s eye to see that unit knows they need to improve.

Brian Ferentz put it bluntly:

“No one’s happy with how we performed or what we did last season. That’s not the expectation. And that’s not what we’re trying to do.”

Neither did his starting quarterback. Spencer Petras battled through injury and led his team to a division-winning 7-2 record, but he completed just 10 touchdowns and tossed nine interceptions.

“Last year we were bad in every category that there really was,” Petras confessed. “So to say that there’s a specific thing we need to improve on, it’s hard for me to give you anything like that. We need to be better everywhere, every spot, every situation, every measurable statistic.”

The solution? Ferentz says there’s no secret formula to a better season from the Hawkeye offense in 2022.

“I think it really comes down to taking some things we do well, tightening up on those,” Ferentz said. “But at the end of the day you just want to make things just a little bit more simple, so that we can all process a little bit faster on the field.”

Petras spent time this offseason learning from the Manning brothers and refining the nuances of the offense. He thinks the added experience and attention to detail will pay dividends over the course of the season.

“Certain situations that might not show up until week seven or week eight, but getting the reps now, that way you have that situation kind of in your bank of things,” Petras said. “You’ve seen things you’ve done.”

His top target, tight end Sam LaPorta, sees that growth in the mental aspect of his game.

“I think his mental approach to the game is something that the quarterbacks rely heavily on following the end of a season,” said the senior. “They always go back to the chalkboard and kind of see what went well over the course of the season and what didn’t go as well.”

Arland Bruce IV has been talked about as a potential breakout player for the Iowa offense. He played as a true freshman last season and registered 25 catches and saw reps in the backfield. He’ll be a factor in the return game too. A sophomore jump from Bruce could be another piece of the puzzle.

“Ever since the season ended we’ve been getting timing down with the quarterbacks, we’ve been assigning new concepts, new routes,” Bruce said. “Each year you have a different team and new people so it’s exciting to see what we’re doing this year. But whatever I can do to help the team whether that’s be in the backfield, whether that’s block the whole game, anything.”

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