Iowa looking to build off strong finish

Iowa was playing its best football at the end of the pandemic-shortened 2020 football season.

After dropping their first two games to Purdue and Northwestern by a combined seven points, the Hawkeyes won six games in a row to close the year 6-2. Impressive wins included a 41-21 rout at Penn State and a 28-7 drubbing of Wisconsin to close the season. Iowa accepted a Music City Bowl bid to face Missouri, but the game was canceled due to COVID-19 issues within the Tigers’ program.

The strong finish of the season took 22-year Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz off the hot seat after a tumultuous 2020 offseason in which questions were raised about the treatment of players based on their race.

Optimism is high for the Hawkeyes leading into 2021. Iowa returns several key players on both sides of the ball, including starting quarterback Spencer Petras (1,569 passing yards, nine TDs, five interceptions), running back Tyler Goodson (762 rushing yards, 5.3 yards per carry, seven TDs) and defensive end Zach Van Valkenburg (8.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, four fumble recoveries).

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