Iowa has long been known as a program focused on winning with elite defense and special teams under tenured coach Kirk Ferentz. The results have been consistent, if nothing else: In 24 seasons under Ferentz, the Hawkeyes have won an average of nearly eight games per year -- oftentimes with middling offensive output.
Offensive woes reached a level through eight games in 2023 that prompted Iowa to set the wheels in motion for a change on that side of the ball. The school announced Monday that offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz, son of kirk,to the Hawkeyes coaching staff in 2024.
The announcement comes after the younger Ferentzin February mandating that the Hawkeyes score at least 25 points per game (including a bowl game) -- by any means, including defense and special teams -- and win seven games (also potentially including a bowl win) in 2023 in order for his contract to renew in 2024.
The revised contract came after Iowa was particularly abysmal on offense during the 2022 season, finishing 123rd nationally while averaging 17.7 points and 156.7 yards passing per game. Even worse, Iowa finished 130th -- out of 131 FBS teams -- in total offense at 256.1 yards per game.
Iowa was running well enough towards this goal through the first three weeks of the 2023 season, sitting 3.08% ahead of pace after a rousing 41-point scoring affair against Western Michigan. And then disaster struck in Week 4 when it visited Penn State. Not only did the Hawkeyes fall off pace, they failed to score a single point against the Nittany Lions.
More than a month later, Iowa is painfully off pace. The Hawkeyes are more than 18% behind the average they should be scoring through nine games, having posted 25+ points just twice this season and combining to score 20 points over the last two weeks in games against Minnesota and Northwestern. In fact, the Hawkeyes' game against the Wildcats opened with a total of 29 points, the lowest in college football history. Despite that, the teams combined to score only 17 points.
For Iowa to reach its 325-point goal, it will now need to score 39.8 points per game, including a bowl appearance. While that won't matter anymore in terms of Ferentz returning to the Hawkeyes staff in 2024, CBS Sports will continue to track Iowa's points per game, calculating whether the Hawkeyes are on track to reach the threshold that Ferentz was previously forced to meet to even have an opportunity to continue as offensive coordinator. Let's break it down in greater detail.
2023 Iowa football schedule, points scored
Projected points via SportsLine | Goal = 325 points (25 per game)
|Opponent||Points scored||Proj. points||Weekly goal||Season goal||Season pace|
* Placeholder projection for Iowa's bowl game given the opponent is unknown.