It’s easy to blow past the fact that Iowa faced the No. 4 team in the country one of those weeks and then traveled to a foe in which the deciding margin has always been not much more than a coin flip.

Iowa is always going to have to play almost perfect football to beat Penn State.

Iowa’s reality right now is that it’s in last place in the Big Ten West Division.

“I don’t think people understand how tough it is to win football games, at any level, no matter who you’re playing,” Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said.

When Iowa football is stitched together the way it needs to be, a complementary element runs straight down the middle of it.

When Iowa football is working the way it needs to, it finds a way to climb those last hills in games.

Lots of fingers pointed at punter Colten Rastetter after MSU. Yes, field position factored in 10 points for MSU. The fact that Iowa was forced to punt three times from inside its 10-yard line in the first half seems to escape those fingers.

In the Big Ten standings this week and every week, the Iowa defense falls under “Iowa Hawkeyes” and not “Iowa defense.”