Saturday’s game couldn’t have started much better for the Hawkeyes. After kicking off to Iowa State, they forced a third down sack which led to a blocked punt. The offense scored a touchdown on a 9-yard plunge from Leshon Williams. The remaining 57 minutes and 21 seconds? Scoreless.
“We have work to do obviously to move the football,” Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said after the game. “We’re going have to score points to be successful, so that’s where our focus goes.”
Tight end Sam LaPorta is upset that the team he sees at practice during the week isn’t the one that has shown up on Saturdays.
“It’s really frustrating, especially when you put in the work since January and you know that you’re capable, you know that,” LaPorta said. “You’ve put in the work and you feel like you’re deserving and we had to go out and earn it and we didn’t do that tonight.”
Scoring one touchdown in two weeks is far from ideal, but somehow it almost got the job done. The Hawkeye defense had forced a fumble at the one-yard line, a red zone interception, and had limited a flaming hot Cyclone offense to just three points in the first half. But a 21-play drive that went 99 yards to a touchdown is all the unit is going to remember about the performance.
“We win as a team, we lose as a team,” said lineman Lukas Van Ness. “It’s a heartbreaker — hurts a lot and you know we’re just going to have to regroup.”
Iowa’s defense only gave up one play over 20 yards, a 24-yard pass play that didn’t occur during the 99-yard drive. But, the expectations are extremely high for defensive back Quinn Schulte.
“I think it was just lack of execution on our part on third downs,” Schulte said. “Getting off the field in that aspect. And so, too many chunk plays that we gave up too. I think what affected it.”