The Iowa Hawkeyes make offense look hard, and have for most of Kirk Ferentz’s tenure. But even after 2022, nothing compares to the loss Iowa suffered at the hands of Penn State.

Hopes were as high as they’d ever been with a new quarterback and a team loaded with transfers on the offensive side. Its first true test resulted in this: Iowa’s second shutout loss in the Ferentz era — the first since 2000 — 76 (!) total yards of offense, four first downs, four fumbles and 11 yards of offense in the second half.

“Sometimes things just kind of snowball,” Ferentz said. “That’s really what took place tonight.”

“I look at this as a learning experience,” quarterback Cade McNamara said. “I can promise you that this is not a reflection of our team. We will be better because of this and our offense will be better because of this.”

“At the end of the day, it’s about what we did — nothing about what they did,” Mason Richman said. “I think we hurt ourselves. For me, for us, it’s about our fundamentals.”

Ferentz was asked if schematic changes would be considered after the loss.

“We’re not going to create a new playbook.” Ferentz responded. “I’m not a wholesale believer in just changing because you had a bad game. It was not a good game. I think we made progress in three weeks. Tonight was disappointing, but we played a really good football team. We keep it in perspective.”

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