3 biggest Iowa football storylines to follow this spring

Michigan State v Iowa
Michigan State v Iowa / Matthew Holst/GettyImages
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With spring practice now in full swing across the country, early anticipation and storylines are beginning to unfold ahead of the 2024 season. Today we will turn our attention to the Big Ten and focus on Iowa football.

A few notable, yet necessary changes were made to the Iowa football program, who finished 10-4 overall in 2023, this offseason, creating a lot of buzz within the fanbase. However, with that excitement comes a handful of unknowns — unknowns that will begin to unfold throughout the spring.

Here are three must-see storylines on the Iowa football program this spring.

1. The new offense

With the dreaded Brian Ferentz offense now gone with the wind in Iowa City, in steps former Western Michigan head coach Tim Lester to be the savior as the new Iowa offensive coordinator. He inherits a Hawkeye unit that ranked second-to-last nationally in total offense in 2022 and dead last in 2023 behind an abysmal 234.6 yards per game — a mark that ranked 28.2 yards behind any other FBS program.

The Lester hire leaves a trail of optimism for Hawkeye fans, as he has a track record of offensive success during his days in Kalamazoo, Mich. From 2018-21, Lester’s Western Michigan offense ranked in the FBS top 35 in total offense each year, including the 16th-best offense in college football in 2020 (41.7 points per game and 479.7 yards per game).

Something to keep an eye on during the spring is how much head coach Kirk Ferentz will allow Lester to scheme up and transform the offense.

The heart of Lester’s offenses have primarily been structured around a spread formation and are very RPO-based. This clearly strays from Ferentz’s traditional, ground-and-pound offense, which draws the question as to what this offense will look like in year one of the Lester-era.

What we do know is that the floor can’t get any lower for Iowa’s offense in 2024.