Iowa scored 98 points in its first seven weeks combined, which was worst in the country.

But they’ve managed a combined 57 points in the last two games, for 20+ point margins of victory.

Was scoring 57 points combined against Purdue and Northwestern a fluke? Or is Iowa’s offense finally coming into its own? Tomorrow’s game against Wisconsin will likely give us the answer to that.

As I pointed out in Thursday’s piece, the Badgers defense is relatively average yet opportunistic. However, Wisconsin’s defense is categorically better than both of Iowa’s previous foes. Regardless of strength of opponent, Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras says the success only means so much if his unit doesn’t continue to improve.

“Anytime you can go out there and get the results that you’ve been working for, they can put confidence into the process, right? That’s the part that is like, okay, why are we getting the results?” Petras said. “We’re getting it’s because of how we’ve been working, how we are practicing and starting to see the payoff for the hard work and what it should do. And what I think it is doing is making our unit hungry for more because it’s a lot more fun being in the locker room after a win. We’re hungry for more — just have to keep it rolling.”

Scoring points is obviously the greatest material indicator of success on offense. But Mason Richman’s biggest takeaway through nine games? The lessons from playing the three best teams on the Hawkeyes’ schedule:

“The biggest thing we can take from it is what it took to get there, how we overcame the hump of the tough stretch of Michigan, Illinois and Ohio State,” Richman said. “It’s a learning tool. And especially in practice, we’ve seen the offense with a different pep in their step. So I think it’s like a little bit of a relaxed feeling in the huddle. But we’re still just as intense as we had been the last couple of weeks, so not too relaxed.”

Nico Ragaini put it bluntly: Iowa’s performance through nine games isn’t something he’d write home about.

“We’re 5-4, that’s nothing to boast about.” Ragaini said. “We have to continue to work hard and not get complacent. Just focus on getting better every single week. We know that there’s a lot of room for us to improve, and we can’t be happy with what we’ve done the past two weeks. We just have to continue to put the foot on the gas.”

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