The Hawkeyes offense hasn’t produced the level that fans were hoping for so far. Through two games, the team is averaging just 259.5 yards of offense per game — 125th in the nation.

Not to mention Hawkeyes have only mustered 44 points, rank 114th in passing yards per game (159.5) and 107th in rushing yards per game (100), which has resulted the 107th most points in the country. (Keep in mind there are only 130 FBS teams.)

However, one thing Iowa has shown the willingness to do is throw the ball deep. They’ve attempted 11 deep passes (traveling 10 yards or more down the field) and have generated 10 plays of 15 yards or more — seven more than the 2022 team did through two games.

The aggressive approach is a byproduct of a changed mindset.

“We’re being the aggressors here — and we’re not scared of anybody,” wide receiver Nico Ragaini said. “Our main motto this year was ‘challenge over threat’ and I feel like we’re living up to that motto.”

Quarterback Cade McNamara feels like that aggression is going to yield results moving forward, and he doesn’t feel like the gap between where this team is and where it needs to be isn’t a big one.

“I think we’re all aware that we’re very close, but it’s coming down to the execution part,” McNamara said. “If anything, there’s like a level of confidence that once this thing starts clicking we’re going to be very dangerous.”

What’s preventing the Hawkeyes from being “dangerous” is the team’s performance beyond the first two drives of the game. The first two pairs of opening drives have yielded three touchdowns and a field goal. The rest? One offensive touchdown, two field goals and 12 punts.

“We hope for a perfect game but that’s not realistic,” center Logan Jones said. “It’s not an imperfect game, it’s how you adjust.”

“To that point, any good Iowa team in the past over time… they’re never as good in September as they are in November,” offensive lineman Nick DeJong added.

“I think it’s a fair statement by Nick,” head coach Kirk Ferentz said. “Our best teams have gotten better progressively during the season. Our not-so-best teams maybe haven’t done as good a job of that. That’s really the challenge.”

As I said earlier, it’s a twofold thing: You’re trying to match up for what you think your opponent is going to do, how they might approach you. The other part is what can you do yourself to make yourself better.”

“I saw a lot of things that are encouraging and we’re still not there yet, but we’re a more mature group than we’ve been the last two years.”

I’m sure none of you have forgotten, but just in case: If Iowa doesn’t average 25 points per game, Brian Ferentz’s contract ends. Cade shared some thoughts on his offensive coordinator at Tuesday’s availability.

“I have total belief in Coach Brian,” McNamara said. “We all know how hard he works, and we all have a tremendous amount of respect for him.”

As the Hawkeyes face Western Michigan as 28.5 point favorites, this week may be the final opportunity for the offense to get a head start on the drive to 325. But more importantly, it’s the last chance to get things humming before the biggest game on the schedule: The Penn State whiteout in 10 days.

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