Iowa Football – Where UNDERS Reign

Malcolm Darnley
October 11, 2023 6:21 PM

The story of Iowa offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz is well told at this point.

For those not familiar with B. Ferentz and his unusual contract stipulations, you can read in-depth about them here.

For those who prefer a one-sentence summary instead – we can do that as well.

If Brian Ferentz and his Iowa Hawkeye offense don’t average 25 points per game this year, Ferentz is out as the Iowa OC.

When your Dad is the head coach, and your team is ranked in the top 25 to start the year, the points stipulation in a contract will generate some conversation.

And we are all for it.

With the understanding that is openly rooting for Coach Ferentz and his Hawkeyes offense to exceed 25 points per game – let’s track down some Iowa stats halfway through the season.

Sept 2nd – Utah State Aggies

If job security is a priority for Brian Ferentz, this is an important game for his our Iowa offense.

The Utah State Aggies play out of the Mountain West Conference (MWC) and are ranked just inside the top 90.

Iowa kicked off as a huge favorite against the Aggies, but unfortunately, they could only score a total of 24 points in this game.

The positive for Coach Ferentz is that 24 is very close to 25.

The negative is that Utah State was supposed to be a free square on a bingo card, and I am sure he was hoping Iowa would pump them for at least 30+.

They didn’t.

But a lot of other teams did.

Utah State Aggies – Since Playing Iowa Week 1

DateOpponentPoints Allowed
Week 2Idaho State28
Week 3@ Air Force39
Week 4James Madison45
Week 5@ UConn33
Week 6Colorado State24
TotalsN/A33.8 / Game

Our table above shows that Utah State allowed almost 34 points a game in their five games since losing to Iowa.

The Aggies schedule is not exactly loaded with college football heavyweights – no offense to Idaho State and UConn.

Week 1 Summary: We were hoping for a better start, but with 24 points, we are certainly still alive in the chase for 25.

If we knew then that Air Force and James Madison would score a combined 84 points against Utah State, we might be more concerned.

The Ship Gets Righted!

The Week 1 disappointment against the Aggies was forgotten when Iowa scored a combined 61 points in their next two games.

Wins against Iowa State (20 points) and Western Michigan (41 points) meant the Hawkeyes’ offense was now on pace to score more than 25 points per game.

Iowa Offense Thru 3 Weeks

Weekly PointsTotal PointsPoints / Game
24 / 20 / 418528.33 PTS / GM

The 28.33 points per game gives Ferentz a little bit of a cushion at this point of the season, which might come in handy with Penn State up next.

The Nittany Lions are the only top-10 ranked opponent on the Hawkeye schedule this year, and if Utah State posed a challenge for Ferentz, one could assume Penn State will also play his squad tough.

Week 2 & 3 Summary: With the 40-Burger we posted against Western Michigan, 25 points per game is now very do-able. 

Hopefully, the offense has developed a little swagger and saved something for a tough Penn St team coming up next.

Abandon Ship! Abandon Ship!

If you are squeamish and don’t like to look at gory things – consider this your warning:

LOOK AWAY before we hit you with some Iowa Boxscore Stats from their game against Penn State.

Chewed Up At Beaver Stadium

Rushing: Att / YardsPassing: Att / YardsTotal OffenseTotal Points
17 carries / 20 Yards6 for 16 / 56 Yards76 Total Yards0 Points
  • Iowa averaged 1.1 yards per carry
  • Iowa had just 56 total passing yards and 76 total yards of offense
  • Penn St. had more than 45 minutes Time of Possession
  • Penn St. had 321 more yards of offense than Iowa
  • Iowa managed just four (4) first downs the entire game. (7 punts)

If any of you were reading those stats in the presence of young children, my apologies.

Those stats are much more offensive than any curse words I know – especially if you are a fan of Iowa football.

Leaving Beaver Stadium with zero points means that Iowa is now averaging just over 21 points per game.

Week 4 Summary: Panic!

Ferentz supporters have numerous reasons to be concerned at this point of the season.

Iowa is still 3-1 on the year, but not because of their offense.

Treading Water – Send Help!

The schedule makers gave us some optimism in our drive for 325, with Michigan St and Purdue back to back on the schedule.

Each team has a defense that is currently allowing 380 total yards per game.

When you remove the game against Iowa from their schedules, Michigan St and Purdue are ranked outside the top 90 defensively.

This was a chance to score some points and get back on the right side of 25 per game.

But sometimes life isn’t easy, and rarely is it fair.

Sometimes, we can fall into a rut at work and require a new challenge to re-energise and produce at our highest level again.

A lack of creativity or a refusal to accept modern-day solutions to help us with our day-to-day responsibilities can signal that we need a new challenge or role to keep us stimulated.

I’m not saying Brian Ferentz was stuck in a rut or not creative with the Iowa offense (although just by mentioning it, I could be accused of implying those exact things).

I am saying that when starting quarterback Cade McNamara went down with a torn ACL against Michigan State, the Iowa offense would have to do something different… finally.

The results of that injury meant that Iowa would end up running the ball for 181 yards against Purdue, and despite losing their starting QB, the Hawkeyes won both games. (now 5-1)

Week 5 & 6 Summary: Unfortunately, our beloved antagonist could only total 46 points in the two victories against the Spartans and Boilermakers.

Despite an overall record of 5-1, Iowa is averaging just 21.83 points per game.

As we hit the halfway point of the Hawkeyes season, it’s fair to wonder if Ferentz is working on his resume while also game-planning for this week’s tough matchup against Wisconsin.

Are Rescue Boats Coming?

In reality, offensive coordinators just don’t get point stipulations inserted into their contracts unless their past history suggests such a clause is warranted.

The 2023 version of the Iowa offense doesn’t appear much different than the 2022 team.

Iowa’s offensive Offense:

YearYards Per GameOverall FBS Rank
2023249.2131st (of 133 FBS teams)
2022258.5131st (of 133 FBS teams)

Total yards isn’t the only offensive stat to judge a team’s performance, but it is definitely a key one.

When 133 teams play Division-1 football, and you rank 131st in total yards for two consecutive seasons, you should be nervous about your job security.

Without Cade McNamara under center for the rest of this year – there doesn’t appear to be much reason to expect a significant offensive improvement in the near term.

Learning From Past Mistakes

When we say past mistakes, we aren’t referring to Brian Ferentz making mistakes as the offensive coordinator in Iowa.

We are not his boss.

His Dad is.

When we say Learning From Past Mistakes – we mean not hammering Iowa Unders the last two years and leaving a lot of money on the table.

Since the beginning of 2022, Iowa has gone under the total in 13 of 19 games. (68%)

This week, on the road in Wisconsin, the total has been set at just 34.5 points.

Surely, two D-1 college programs with the history and reputations that Iowa and Wisconsin have will combine to score more than 35 points in a football game.

If you believe that – then I believe you skipped all the way to the bottom of this article just to get the free betting pick.

Nothing I wrote above suggests an OVER is the play when it comes to Iowa football.

Week 7 CFB Betting Tip – Iowa vs Wisconsin UNDER +34.5 points.

Just because it will be tough to watch and not very much fun to sit through doesn’t mean we shouldn’t grab the low-hanging fruit when opportunity knocks.