It’s frustrating in sports when your team becomes a national punchline.
The Iowa Hawkeyes have been that national punchline, maligned for their comically-bad inability to produce offensively over the last three seasons.
After a shutout loss at No. 7 Penn State this past weekend where Iowa managed just 76 yards of total offense, national analysts were once again piling on the Hawkeyes.
Understandably so, too. “The Drive for 325” and Brian Ferentz’s job status took center stage among college football pundits.
One of college football’s biggest podcasts, The Cover 3 Podcast, dove into the mess that is Iowa’s offense following the Nittany Lions’ blanking of the Hawkeyes.
In particular, analyst Bud Elliott highlighted how Iowa’s wide receivers have just 14 catches combined through four games. Conversely, Army’s receivers have 27 receptions thus far. Not a good look when a service academy is lapping you in that regard.
After noting that “The Drive to 325” only gets funnier every week, Elliott noted that an anonymous staff member from a team that’s played Iowa believes the Hawkeyes’ offensive style is a direct shot at Iowa’s administration.
“They want to win their way. Their receivers have 14 catches on the season. If you’re Iowa’s receivers, why the hell do you go to practice? I mean, can you imagine going to practice and as a group you’ve caught 14 passes? What are your meetings like in your position group meetings if you have 14 passes caught? At least…I mean, granted, buyer beware, you should know if you’re a receiver, don’t go to Iowa. But, that’s like worse than the service academies,” Elliott said.
Iowa’s receivers have 14 catches on the year
Army’s receivers have 27
What are those practices like?
If the receiver group boycotted practice would anyone notice? pic.twitter.com/Yvm5X9AUBw
— Bud Elliott (@BudElliott3) September 25, 2023
It’s the latest in a long line of Iowa’s offense getting highlighted for all the wrong reasons.
The passing game still hasn’t clicked for Iowa after an offseason where the Hawkeyes added to their wide receiver room with what they hoped would be impact transfers in Seth Anderson from Charleston Southern and Kaleb Brown from Ohio State. Those two joined key returners Diante Vines and Nico Ragaini to form what many thought would be an improved group.
So far, it hasn’t panned out that way. Iowa’s receivers have a combined 14 grabs for 148 yards with a pair of touchdowns. Brown has played just 41 total snaps and has zero catches. He has only been targeted twice per Pro Football Focus.
As a whole, Iowa’s receivers have netted just 31 total targets according to PFF.
Let’s hope it improves in a hurry against Michigan State on Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. CT. Otherwise, expect the jokes and negative recruitments to continue.
Follow Josh on Twitter: @JoshOnREF
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