Iowa’s offense looks to make strides this week against Northern Iowa. The Hawkeyes are 2-0 and riding a defense that has yielded only 10 points and registered nine sacks.
The passing game has struggled. The Hawkeyes have averaged just over 150 yards through the air and quarterback Nate Stanley is only connecting on 53 percent.
“We have a ton of confidence in the defense and are happy with the way they are playing but we don’t want to rely on them”, said Stanley. “We are trying to look at the tape and go out and execute better than we have been.”
Iowa opens Big Ten play next week against sixth ranked Wisconsin but senior safety Jake Gervase says they won’t get caught looking past the Panthers.
“Coach Ferentz showed some us some statistics that the last three games have been really close”, said Gervase. “We know we are going to get their best shot and we are preparing just like every other game.”
UNI opened the season with a 26-23 loss at Montana back on August 25 and Panther coach Mark Farley has a decision to make at quarterback. Colton Howell rallied the Panthers after starter Eli Dunne completed five of 20 passes.
Farley says whoever gets the start at quarterback will face a tough challenge.
“In the years I have played Iowa it is about as good of a team as they have had”, said Farley. “They are probably a bigger handful this year than in many years past.”