Like many college teams in 2020, the Iowa football program went though a very up-and-down year. After getting off to an 0-2 start, many thought the Hawkeyes would take a nosedive. However, head coach Kirk Ferentz quickly turned things around.
Iowa rattled off four straight wins, establishing themselves as a competitor in the Big Ten West. The Hawkeyes offense dominated in the victories over Michigan State, Minnesota and Penn State, scoring a combined 125 points in the three contests. Ferentz and company closed out the four-game win streak with a 26-20 victory over Nebraska.
Kirk Herbstreit spoke about Iowa’s impressive turnaround on Saturday morning’s edition of College GameDay. The ESPN analyst wanted to compliment Ferentz’s resilience in an otherwise difficult 2020 season.
“This is a team that’s a great story because we get so focused, a lot of times, on the playoff and the six teams that are trying to compete to get into the playoff,” Herbstreit said on Saturday, via 247Sports. “And there are teams like Iowa that are a heck of a story, 0-2, as you said a lot of issues off the field but instead of shutting things down, they kept going back to work. The two losses that they have, to Purdue by four points, Northwestern by one point. So not only losing, but losing games you feel you could have won and then instead of shutting down, they turned that thing around. They win four in a row, just a great job by Ferentz and that staff. It is not shocking if you’ve followed his career.”
— 247Sports (@247Sports) December 5, 2020
The Hawkeyes climbed to No. 19 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings. Although Ferentz won’t be able to compete for a conference championship, he adequately prepared his unit for strong future.
Iowa hopes to make it five in a row when they take on Illinois in Champaign on Saturday. The Big Ten West showdown kicks off at 3:30 p.m. on FOX Sports 1.