Iowa won’t be defined by early loss to Purdue

Iowa is determined to brush off its loss to Purdue and move forward.


Shivansh Ahuja

Ross-Ade Stadium is seen before a football game between Iowa and Purdue in West Lafayette, IN on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020.

Austin Hanson, Sports Editor

For the first time in seven seasons, the Iowa football team has a mark in the loss column after its first game.

The last time Kirk Ferentz and the Hawkeyes suffered a season-opening loss was in 2013. An unknown quarterback named Jordan Lynch and his unknown Northern Illinois University Huskies defeated Iowa at Kinnick Stadium, 30-27.

A lot has changed since then, but on Saturday, Ferentz and the Hawkeyes were reacquainted with the bitter taste of a Week 1 loss as Iowa fell to Purdue, 24-20.

“This season is different than any one we’ve been through,” Ferentz said. “What is similar is… we’ve had disappointment early in the season or first game [before]. What really counts is what we do moving forward. We’ve got a lot of good guys on our football team, they’ve worked hard. I think they’ve shown a lot of character and a lot to be encouraged about as a coach.”

While the loss to the Boilermakers will continue to sting, sophomore running back Tyler Goodson believes he and his teammates will learn from their experience Saturday.

Especially considering how Iowa lost. The Hawkeyes committed 10 penalties and fumbled twice. Players postgame said there was a lack of physicality against Purdue, and that the team didn’t play with sound fundamentals. That has to change moving forward.

“We’re not going to let it stick with us,” Goodson said. “So, we’re going to go into [this] week knowing that we can win this upcoming game and the game after that. But once again, losing a game like this goes into penalties and turnovers, and that’s what the main thing we got to work on and work on the fundamentals of the game. So, we’ll progress throughout the season.”

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Goodson and fellow running back Mekhi Sargent both fumbled once, resulting in a loss of possession for the Hawkeyes both times. Wide receiver Brandon Smith also fumbled once, but Iowa recovered on that occasion.

The Hawkeyes also compiled 100 yards worth of penalties on Saturday. In fact, a Jack Heflin hands-to-the-face, 15-yard penalty helped set up Purdue’s game-winning touchdown with just 2:15 remaining in the game.

“Penalties most definitely changed the game, penalties and turnovers,” Goodson said. “That was our main thing. We beat ourselves [Saturday]. We will get those corrected [this] weekend. We’ll become a better team [this] week. But penalties and turnovers are most definitely a part of the game.”

In the modern college football landscape, every loss seems to be monumental, but the Hawkeyes and sophomore quarterback Spencer Petras don’t view things that way.

Petras has been described by his teammates as a natural-born leader. His leadership will be important as the team tries to rebound against Northwestern next weekend.

“The biggest thing to remember, it’s important for all of us, but the only goal of our’s that’s off the table at this point is being undefeated,” Petras said. “There’s still plenty of things to play for, starting with beating Northwestern this week. That’s the next thing. All of our goals still apply, you know, of getting better each day and being the best team we can be to play to our potential.

“So, there’s still plenty out there. It’s going to hurt, it’s going to be hard. We always talk about the 24-hour rule. We’ll watch the tape [Sunday], let it hurt, but then come Monday, we’re on to Northwestern.”

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