For all of Iowa’s offensive struggles this season, this performance might be a new low.

Iowa put up six points, failing to score a touchdown for the second time this season. The end result? A 9-6 loss to Illinois and a crushing blow to any hopes of winning the Big Ten West. A visibly distraught Spencer Petras didn’t point fingers after the game.

“It sucks putting up six points,” a teary-eyed Petras said. “Just feel like it’s a lot of self-inflicted [wounds]. It starts with me. As a unit we have to be better. I can’t keep doing this.”

Now, Iowa’s excellent defense & special teams doing all of the heavy lifting isn’t a new narrative. But both units set up the offense with drives beginning over the midfield stripe. Iowa couldn’t turn it into any second-half points, and even the usually optimistic receiver Nico Ragaini couldn’t hide his disappointment.

“You put everything you have into football ever since we’re little kids and then we come out here and the other team gets the win,” Ragaini said. “It definitely hurts and we’re all hurting.”

Tight end Sam LaPorta recorded a season-high 100 yards. After accumulating over 60 yards on the first drive, the offense went noticeably quiet.

“Consistency was our problem tonight.” LaPorta said. “I felt like we had a lot of things going early on and then kind of just withered away and the consistency of the things that we’re doing are falling apart. So gotta be better there.”

As much as the struggles have been put on the shoulders of the players, could offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz be part of the issue? If you’re a fan clamoring for a coaching change, that question was answered last night. Kirk Ferentz (also Brian’s father) says no.

The good news for the Hawkeyes is they’ll have some time to recover emotionally and physically. They have a bye next week before they gear up for their final six games of the regular season.

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