Iowa quarterback Deacon Hill has struggled in the nearly two games he’s played as a Hawkeye. His accuracy has hindered the passing game, but it hasn’t impacted the win column, as Iowa’s won both games Hill’s played significantly in.

How does Hill correct his woes? Hawkeyes head coach Kirk Ferentz admits he’s not a mind reader, but has an idea of how to improve upon the six for 21 passing outing we just witnessed.

“I think he’s probably pressing a little bit. And I can’t read minds but my guess is he’s a very prideful guy, and he wants to do like all of our guys do. So I think he’s probably pressing a little bit,” Ferentz said.

“Secondly is he hasn’t played since 2020. That was three high school games, COVID shortened year. Point being, he hasn’t played much in the last couple years, so this is kind of his maiden voyage. We may have to be a little patient.”

Hill has expressed that he felt jitters and frustration in his first career start.

“There was a lot of frustration there,” Hill said. “I think anybody would have been frustrated with that performance. The main thing for me was just learning from it and trying to grow this week.”

As for what growth looks like for Hill? Getting the ball into the hands of his playmakers.

“Giving our guys a chance,” Hill said. “We had some isolations just giving our receivers and tight ends a chance to make a play.”

It’s unlikely another poor performance from Hill will result in another Hawkeye victory. But as he leads his team into Madison, he’s shown his teammates, his coaches and fans that he’s willing to hold himself accountable for his play. As for whether it will translate to improvement — we shall wait and see.

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Iowa quarterback Deacon Hill throws a pass against Michigan State at Kinnick Stadium on September 30, 2023 in Iowa City, Iowa. (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)