IOWA CITY, Iowa — Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz doesn’t believe his team quit on Saturday. Penn State running back Saquon Barkley said as much after Iowa lost 41-14 to the eighth-ranked Nittany Lions.
“I have not seen anything,” Ferentz said. “I don’t see all, but I see a lot.”
It wasn’t a pleasant trip to Happy Valley for Iowa as the Nittany Lions outclassed the Hawkeyes. Ferentz compared the loss to the 2004 loss to Arizona State, where Iowa fell 44-7.
“You have peaks,” Ferentz said. “You have valleys. We all do, individually and collectively. That is life. That is the way it goes.”
Iowa cornerback Desmond King didn’t hear Barkley’s comments until Tuesday. Like Ferentz, he didn’t think it was accurate.
“I felt like we were still playing like a team out there,” King said. “Things just didn’t go our way, but it just comes down to the effort. When you go out there on the field. That’s something we are going to change this week.”
The Hawkeyes gave up 599 total yards. It was the most since Wisconsin gained 604 yards in 1999.
“I get it, that they were moving the ball on us and scoring and that’s hard to argue with there,” defensive end Parker Hesse said, “but the way we were playing is something we really take pride in as a defense. Just competing no matter what the situation is. He saw it that way, but I don’t see it that way at all.”
If effort wasn’t in question on Saturday that might not make things any easier. The Hawkeyes weren’t in a position to stop the Nittany Lions and this week will only be tougher. No. 2 Michigan will bring a better offense into Kinnick Stadium on Saturday (8:12 p.m. ET, ABC). The Wolverines are third nationally, averaging 48.0 points per game.
“Things have been up and down, at times, this year,” Hesse said. “Every single week, this (past) Saturday, we’ve put it behind us, and there is one goal and that is to beat Michigan and that’s all we can control.”