Iowa earns a resounding ‘F’ grade in regular season-ending loss to Nebraska Cornhuskers

Spoiler alert, the Iowa Hawkeyes get an “F” in this report card. You win as a team and lose as a team, and it truly was a team effort in this embarrassing loss.

In a must-win game at home to continue their season and make it back to the Big Ten Championship where they could try and make amends for their beatdown there last year, Iowa just didn’t look bothered on Friday. It looked as though the team were still in a food coma, especially early on in the first half half, as Nebraska arrived hungry and ready to fight for the Heroes Trophy.

While they made things interesting at the end of this one, it was more so the Cornhuskers willingly trying to give the Hawkeyes the game. Iowa simply didn’t want to take it from them.

The offense was an embarrassment, the coaching staff deserves blame, and the defense were put in some unfortunate situations tonight. While the team as a whole gets an “F” performance for losing a game that they had no business losing, there were a few bright spots that I do have to point out in a harsh and reactionary report card to the final performance of the 2022 Iowa Hawkeyes regular season.

Brian Ferentz

Bryon Houlgrave/The Register / USA TODAY NETWORK

Grade: F

Yup, you’re getting an “F” here buddy. There is absolutely no excuse for the game you called today, and there’s no excuse for how you’ve set this offense up all season. Coming out guns blazing with multiple players out, including Sam LaPorta, and with Spencer Petras at quarterback certainly makes sense, right? Nevermind that you are facing one of the worst run defenses in the conference, and you showed success running the ball.

Oh, and once a more mobile quarterback in Padilla came in, were any plays drawn up to highlight his legs? No, that would make too much sense. There’s a reason Ferentz didn’t see much upside in Padilla. When you are running an offense that is designed for 1960’s quarterbacks who take cigarette drags in between plays, of course there’s no room for any mobility.

For calling a nonsensical game, designing the most lackluster offense in Power 5, and refusing to make any adjustments, you sir get an “F.”

The Quarterbacks

Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK

Grade: F

I mean, I somewhat feel bad bringing the hammer down on these quarterbacks. Spencer Petras got hurt and Alex Padilla had to come off the bench, but, at a certain point, we just all have to acknowledge that the quarterback play at the University of Iowa is not good enough.

It was the greatest hits for Petras early on, missing wide open throws, turning over the ball. Classic Petras stuff. Padilla made a couple of plays, but it really wasn’t much. Like we can’t kid ourselves, he still wasn’t good. That last interception was very bad. At no point did you think to yourself that Iowa could pass their way to a victory. That needs to change badly.

The Offensive Line

Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK

Grade: F

Don’t worry folks, this is the last “F” I’m going to give out, but what an embarrassing performance for the Iowa offensive line. This might be the worst line Kirk Ferentz has ever had, and it’s after an entire offseason of hype for the unit. This offense is severely handicapped by how bad they are, and no quarterback can produce when under heavy fire. Teams don’t even need to blitz, they can create pressure by just sending a couple of rushers.

Kaleb Johnson

Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Grade: B+

Good for Kaleb Johnson for stepping up when his team needed him to. All year the freshman running back has just made plays, and he made a big one on Friday night. His 44-yard touchdown run gave Iowa some life, you know before the offense decided to do what they do best.

Luke Lachey: A

Bryon Houlgrave/The Register / USA TODAY NETWORK

If there’s one thing we learned in this game, it’s that Iowa will be just fine next year at the tight end position. Tight End U has their next budding star in Luke Lachey, the sophomore catching seven passes for 89 yards and a touchdown.

Despite being a backup for most of the season, he stepped in today as the focal point of the offense and delivered. Not a lot of people did their jobs today but Lachey did what he could. Watch out for him next season.

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Story originally appeared on Hawkeyes Wire