IOWA CITY, Ia. — Iowa’s embattled Offensive Coordinator addressed the media Wednesday afternoon.
It was an intense ordeal for Brian Ferentz, considering the Hawkeyes’ abysmal offense this fall, and no signs of improvement. Ferentz was pressed about his status with the program, the direction of the offense under his leadership and all the recent terminations going around the sport.
After all, Wisconsin and Nebraska has already fired its’ head coaches. Not to mention Rutgers’ parted ways with Offensive Coordinator Sean Gleeson after last week’s loss at home. However, Ferentz is not concerned about all the moving pieces going on around the conference.
He’s too busy trying to improve Iowa’s offense, which has been a trainwreck all season. And he can feel the frustration from Hawkeye fans.
“I think, obviously right now we’re all disappointed and frustrated by our performance offensively on Saturdays, but I’m proud of the preparation and the effort the guys have put in on a weekly basis, seven days a week,” Ferentz said. “The reality is right now the production certainly hasn’t been what we expected, and it’s not meeting our level of expectation, most importantly.”
The Hawkeyes are dead last out of 131 FBS teams in total offense. Iowa is also last in the Big Ten in rushing, passing and scoring offense. To add more fuel to the fire is the fact that the Hawkeyes have been held to single digits three times this season, and lost two of those games.
Ferentz accepts all of the blame though, but can’t pinpoint the root of the problem. The quarterback situation has been flaky at best with Spencer Petras at the helms. He continues to be a liability whenever the team gets into a deficit and have to pass the ball to score. Which is mind-boggling because Petras is in his senior year, but been stuck in neutral with his maturation process.
His protection up front has been horrendous. It’s tough for Petras to generate any momentum with defenders constantly penetrating the backfield. Iowa has allowed 18 sacks, which is the second-most in the conference.
Receivers have plagued by the injury bug, and the backfield has been inconsistent. There doesn’t appear to be light at the end of the tunnel. Still, Ferentz is working non-stop trying to figure out how the offense can move forward. No matter how bumpy the road may get, he has no plans on stepping down from his position. Ferentz believes he owes it to the fans not to tap out.
“You can surrender, and if you surrender, then I think the results are pretty much guaranteed,” he said. “Or you can dig in, you can continue to fight, and you can try to improve and do things better.”
The good news is the Hawkeyes will be missing in action in week seven. So Ferentz will need to utilize the time off to iron out the wrinkles. That means the other quarterbacks should be taking meaningful reps and building chemistry with the pass catchers. The offensive line can polish up on the mechanics, and the running backs can develop a better rotation.
The bad news is a trip to top-three Ohio State looms when the Iowa (3-3) returns to the gridiron. Ferentz knows all eyes are on him and Hawkeye fans will be watching with their arms crossed. He probably has the most to prove out of any assistant coach in the country.
Regardless, he’s no stranger to criticism, and knows the pressure that comes with being the head coach’s son. Nor does he feel that’s the reason he’s been on the staff this long with mediocre results. So he’s not worried about if his days are numbered because he understands what comes with the territory of coaching in the Power Five.
“This is a results-driven business, and you have to get results, otherwise, they will move on to people who will.”