It was a rough one for the Iowa Hawkeyes in their season opener against the Northern Illinois Huskies last weekend. The Hawkeyes fought hard, but ultimately lost a heartbreaker to the Huskies on a last second field goal. The salt in the wounds came in the form of redshirt sophomore quarterback Jake Rudock‘s late-game interception that set up the game-winning kick. The loss marked the seventh in a row (dating back to 2012) for Kirk Ferentz and company. But with week two, comes a real chance for the Hawkeyes to end their skid as Missouri State comes to town.
The Hawkeyes are heavy favorites against the Bears. That’s to be expected, though, considering Missouri State lost at home last week to Northwestern State in their season opener. But fans won’t just be looking for Iowa to pull out a victory in this one, they’ll be looking for the Hawks to win in convincing fashion. That’s something that’s rarely happened over the last few years. You might even say, Iowa has forgotten how to win.
During the Ferentz era, Iowa teams have often been associated with playing down to their level of competition and with not being able to close out games convincingly. Ferentz’s style is so conservative that it doesn’t really translate well to his teams going for the kill when the game is about to be put out of reach.
That must change Saturday. I can assure you that fans won’t be truly satisfied unless the Hawkeyes win in convincing fashion and close out the game like a heavily favored team should. Sure, the Iowa faithful will be glad just to see the team’s losing streak come to an end, but they’d really like to see this team take a big step by learning how to win again.