IOWA CITY, Ia. — Two close, error-filled losses in consecutive weeks have dampened the Iowa football hype outside the Hawkeye walls.
Poor offensive line play, an inconsistent offense and wasted defensive performances have plagued No. 22 Iowa, as it's dropped two consecutive opportunities to make a Big Ten statement.
For a season many Iowa supporters hoped would end with a division title, disappointment lingers as the Hawkeyes (4-2, 1-2 Big Ten Conference) head into Saturday's 11 a.m. affair against Purdue (2-4, 1-2). Kirk Ferentz understands the frustration and the despair that comes with it.
He knows his players can't completely avoid the negative exposure. But with six weeks remaining and plenty of football left, Ferentz emphasized the importance of focusing forward.
"I understand the mentality, but people who compete can't think like that It's crazy," Ferentz said at Tuesday's press conference. "We would've surrendered every war we've been in if we looked at the world that way. You can't do it. You just keep pushing ahead, keep fighting. We have an opportunity to play Saturday and get back in the win column. We know it's going to be hard, and that's where our focus has to be. I think that's our concern, as coaches. And the players understand that.
"You can't do anything about yesterday. You've got to worry about what's in front of us today, with what the opportunities may be. How the season plays out is entirely in our hands. We have control of our destiny. We're not going to be undefeated, but everything else is out there for us. Best thing we can do is worry about Purdue."
Dargan Southard covers Iowa and UNI athletics, recruiting and preps for the Des Moines Register, HawkCentral.com and the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.