Iowa football's offensive struggles rear ugly head in Cy-Hawk showdown, resulting in 10-7 loss

Shortly after Iowa's narrow win over South Dakota State, head coach Kirk Ferentz appeared confident that the offense would perform better in their next game. They would have to as rival and upset-minded Iowa State was coming to Iowa City.

Conversations all week circled Iowa's quarterback situation, offensive line play and lack of healthy receivers.

The big question was: Could Iowa extend their Cy-Hawk winning streak if the offense didn't perform?

The answer was, resoundingly, no. 

Iowa fell to Iowa state 10-7 to snap a six-game winning streak against their rivals. Iowa's defense gave up yardage but limited Iowa State points, keeping points off the board in two red zone situations. The special teams unit even accounted for two blocked punts. But the offense came back to bite them on Saturday. 

The game couldn't have started any better for the Hawkeyes: the defense forced a three-and-out on the first possession, they blocked the ensuing punt and the offense punched in a touchdown in just two plays. That's the complimentary football that Iowa wants and has won with in recent years.

Iowa State safety Anthony Johnson, Jr. breaks up a pass made by Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras during the Cy-Hawk football game on Saturday at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City.

More:Recap: Iowa State survives Cy-Hawk game vs. Iowa, 10-7

But then the wheels fell off of the offense. 

The offense had 12 possessions afterward, seven ending in punts, three turnovers and zero points scored the rest of the way. In total, the Hawkeyes mustered up just 150 yards of total offense and two third down conversions on 10 attempts. 

And there were plenty of chances, including a field goal attempt that missed wide left as the final seconds ticked off.

With a little over four minutes left in the second quarter, Iowa had a chance for a four-minute offensive drive before half for points, they were also receiving the second-half kickoff. What followed was Spencer Petras interception from their own 18-yard line that set Iowa State up for a potential score. The defense erased that with an interception by Cooper DeJean to preserve the 7-3 lead. 

Another chance came early in the third quarter. Iowa cornerback Terry Roberts intercepted a pass that set the Hawkeye offense up at Iowa State's 49-yard line, but a three-and-out followed leaving more points on the field. 

The final straw came just a few minutes later. At the 7:44 mark, Iowa's defense forced an Iowa State punt and blocked it again (Lukas Van Ness with both blocks) and set Iowa's offense up at the Iowa State 20-yard line for a potential score to extend their four-point lead. But fullback Monte Pottebaum fumbled at the goal line and it was recovered by Iowa State. And then came Iowa State's 21-play, 99-yard game winning touchdown drive. 

More:Photos: Cyclones vs. Hawkeyes in Iowa City for 2022 Cy-Hawk game

Iowa's next two drives: one three and out and a turnover on downs. 

Iowa's defense played admirably but the wear-and-tear of spending so much time on the field came back to bite them. By game's end Iowa State held a 79-52 plays run advantage and a 38:45 -21:07 edge in time of possession. Despite forcing three turnovers (two in the red zone) and two blocked punts, the offense couldn't capitalize off of the momentum and score when needed. 

Iowa heads back to the drawing board with one more game before Big Ten play. It seems, for now, that Spencer Petras is entrenched as starting quarterback but outside of him, the entire offense needs to find solutions to match the other two phases of the team. 

If they don't not only will Iowa not repeat as Big Ten West champions, they'll be fighting for bowl eligibility.  

Kennington Lloyd Smith III covers Iowa Hawkeyes football and men's basketball for the Des Moines Register. You can connect with Kennington on Twitter @SkinnyKenny_ or email him at ksmith@gannett.com.