IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa is fielding one of the youngest teams of coach Kirk Ferentz's 14-year tenure.
Youth is hardly the reason the Hawkeyes are off to such a dismal start. After escaping from Chicago with an 18-17 win over Northern Illinois in its opener, Iowa's issues came to light last weekend in a three-point loss to Iowa State.
The Hawkeyes (1-1) didn't record a sack or a touchdown, scoring six points despite forcing four turnovers. Though Iowa's improving defense held Iowa State scoreless after halftime, its offense couldn't take advantage.
On Saturday, the Hawkeyes host Northern Iowa, which nearly knocked off another struggling Big Ten team, Wisconsin, on Sept. 1. The Panthers (1-1) appear to be one of the best teams in the Championship Subdivision, and Iowa knows it can't afford as many mistakes as it made against Iowa State and expect to win.