Iowa aims to get sluggish offense going vs. Michigan State


Iowa was a ranked team before traveling to then-No. 7 Penn State last week.

The Hawkeyes were simply rank in a 31-0 loss that kicked them out of the Top 25.

Now they will try to pick up the pieces Saturday night at home in Iowa City when they face Michigan State in a Big Ten Conference matchup.

Outgained 397-76 last week, the Hawkeyes (3-1, 0-1) ran just 33 plays from scrimmage to Penn State's 97. The Iowa offense went about three quarters of playing time between first downs and managed just four for the night. It was, simply put, about as bad of an exhibition of offense as a team can display.

"Disappointing game and disappointing outcome for us," Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. "We never got in a position to put any stress on our opponents. Tough loss for us; we will move forward. It is all about pushing forward. Lot of football left right now."

Jay Higgins led the Hawkeyes' defense with 18 tackles at Penn State, the most by an Iowa player since Jack Campbell notched 18 against Colorado State two years ago.

Meanwhile, Michigan State (2-2, 0-1) isn't likely to have much sympathy for the Hawkeyes. The Spartans were routed in their conference opener as well, falling 31-9 to Maryland at home a week after losing 41-7 at home to Washington.

The Spartans outgained the Terrapins 376-362 but committed five turnovers -- three interceptions and two fumbles.

"They're a good team by putting themselves in the position to win by causing turnovers, but at the same time, we helped them," said Michigan State acting coach Harlon Barnett. "Players have the opportunity to make plays but couldn't capitalize, and they were making the plays and capitalizing."

Iowa leads the all-time series 24-22-2, rolling to a 49-7 victory in 2020 in the teams' most recent meeting.

--Field Level Media

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