Iowa’s lack of early-season offense has overshadowed the preparation for Saturday’s game against Nevada at Ames, Iowa.
The criticism of offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz, son of Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, is so intense that fans have gone to great lengths to troll the younger Ferentz through online videos.
The Hawkeyes (1-1) rank last among 131 FBS programs averaging only 158.0 yards of total offense a game after beating South Dakota State 7-5 and losing to Iowa State 10-7.
They punted or turned the ball over in 10 of their 13 possessions against Iowa State. Despite that, quarterback Spencer Petras will remain the starter for at least another week.
“I think that synergy of all 11 guys working together has just missed a piece here and there,” tight end Sam LaPorta said. “If one guy on offense fails to execute his job on any given play, it’s usually a bad play.”
Nevada (2-1) is coming off a 55-41 loss at home to Incarnate Word in which it allowed 616 yards of total offense.
The Wolfpack rank 96th nationally in total defense allowing 404.3 yards per game.
After the loss to an FCS team, the Wolf Pack’s second defeat to a lower-division opponent in the last 28 seasons, first-year coach Ken Wilson took a caring approach, telling his players that he “loved” them.
“I feel like they needed to hear that,” said Wilson, who replaced Jay Norvell (an Iowa alum) after Norvell left to Colorado State. “There’s a lot of guys in that room that had a lot of different adversity from the time we got here. And that was the first real adversity we had as a team.”
Iowa can rely on its defense with Nevada’s offensive line susceptible to sacks and lost yardage. Last season, the Wolf Pack gave up 89 tackles for loss to go along with the 45 sacks allowed.
They have one returning starter from last season and four starters are transfers.
Against Incarnate Word, the Nevada surrendered six sacks and 11 tackles for loss. The Wolf Pack have allowed nine sacks and 26 tackles for loss this season.
— Field Level Media