Iowa OC optimistic but wants to see improvement in run game, ball security

Iowa OC optimistic but wants to see improvement in run game, ball security
To Brian Ferentz, the problems for Iowa’s offense are simple: improve the run game and hold onto the ball. Fixing that is less simple.
With the team at the halfway point and in a bye week, Iowa’s offensive coordinator was blunt in his assessment on Wednesday.
"If we don't get to running the ball, if we don't get to being a little more efficient on first and second down, I don't think we can reasonably expect to be successful as an offensive unit," Ferentz said. "And then if we're not, we're putting a lot of pressure on the defense and special teams.
"So, we need to get back to controlling the football. We need to get back to running it. We'd like to keep this group intact. But most importantly, I think I need to do a better job of getting us going downhill a little bit."
Ferentz says yards per carry is a good tool to evaluate a team’s run game. Right now, the Hawkeyes are tied for 97th in the country at 3.7 yards per carry, despite having a dynamic runner in senior Akrum Wadley.
Certainly, the run game could be helped by better success in the deep passing game. But Ferentz once again put the onus on him.
"I think what that comes down to is, again, the word nobody wants to hear: execution," Ferentz said. "And I think that falls on us as coaches, starting with me. I have to do a better job in practice, making sure we get those things repped, making sure we get them hit. Giving those guys opportunities to make those plays so when we get to the game field on Saturday we feel like we're ready to that and we can reasonably expect to be successful doing it."
Ferentz says they also have to protect the ball better. Iowa has fumbled the ball 14 times, losing nine. That’s the third most in the country and Ferentz says he’s never seen a championship team with those numbers.
"We need to make sure we're not satisfied," Ferentz said. "We need to make sure we have our eyes on something a little bit bigger down the road here.
"But I told the unit the other day, no one's discouraged. I'm extremely optimistic about what I think we can be. But at some point we have to go do it."
With no game this Saturday, the Hawkeyes have plenty of time to work on those issues before they travel to Northwestern next week.
Filed Under :
Topics : Sports
Location : Iowa
People : Brian Ferentz
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