Five things to think about following the Iowa football team's 24-15 loss to Purdue on Saturday:
1. The good
Iowa's best punt of the day was delivered by quarterback Nate Stanley.
After being sacked for an 11-yard loss to leave the Hawkeyes in a fourth-and-20 predicament from the 34, Stanley dropped his second punt of the season on the Purdue 3-yard line.
He delivered a 31-yard effort that two plays later positioned Nathan Bazata to collect a safety which provided Iowa with its first points of the game.
Stanley, who punted in high school, now averages 39 yards per punt.
2. The bad
It was great to see senior offensive linemen Ike Boettger and Boone Myers walk onto the field Saturday for Senior Day ceremonies without the help of walking boots.
That is progress for the two seniors who were expected to anchor the Hawkeye offensive front.
The only thing better would have been to have seen the two in uniform, but that wasn't going to happen and that won't happen in Friday's regular-season finale at Nebraska.
Their absence is being felt. The consistency of Iowa's offensive line has been lacking in the on-the-job training program Tristan Wirfs and Alaric Jackson are taking part in.
Both will be fine in time, but remain works in progress and that has left quarterback Nate Stanley vulnerable.
He was sacked six times on Saturday. Purdue tackled four other Hawkeyes behind the line as well.
Stanley was hurried on two other occasions and ended up a quarterback rating of 97.2, his second-worst performance of the season but an improvement over the previous week's effort at Wisconsin.
The fundamental flaws and the mental ones - drive-killing penalties - are impacting an offense that has scored two touchdowns in its last eight quarters of football.
The objective of an effective front five its physically overmatch the opponent across the line. That's tough to do when you are frequently beating yourself.
3. The ugly
If you play cornerback, you're going to make plays.
And, you're going to get burned.
It's a high-visibility high-wire act that requires a certain ability to maintain focus from one play to the next.
"As a defensive back, you don't want to give up a catch and you don't want to give up a touchdown,'' Iowa's Josh Jackson said following Saturday's game. "If you do, you need to have short-term memory and you need to come back and make a play.''
Iowa lacked that focus early in the second half and it cost the Hawkeyes dearly.
With Jackson in lockdown mode on the left side, Purdue picked on the right cornerback and the one-on-one match-up it had there. Quarterback Elijah Sindelar threw six straight passes to Anthony Mahoungou during the first two drives of the third quarter.
Five were completed, two for game-turning touchdowns, and one drew a pass interference call on Manny Rugamba.
A 42-yard touchdown pass to Mahoungou ended Rugamba's day. Michael Ojemudia gave up a 35-yard pass play on Sindelar's next attempt and that ended the brief appearance of Ojemudia.
Freshman Matt Hankins replaced him and two plays later, Purdue was celebrating in the end zone again with a 21-9 lead.
Jackson was shifted from the left side to the right on the next series but the damage had been done and the hole was too deep for a struggling Iowa offense to overcome.
That stretch - taking only 3 minutes, 1 second - was as ugly as it gets for a pass defense that has generally been sound this season.
4. The reality
The numbers don't lie.
Struggle-filled performances the past two weeks have sent Iowa tumbling in national offensive statistics.
Among the 130 programs in the Football Bowl Subdivision, the Hawkeyes woke up this morning to find themselves rated 117th in total offense, 107th in rushing offense, 87th passing offense and 87th in scoring offense.
Iowa ranks 112th in the country in first downs, 112th in red zone offense and 97th in third-down conversion percentage.
That's the reality of where Iowa is at right now.
For the fifth time this season, the Hawkeyes were held below 100 rushing yards on Saturday and the bottom line in each of those games has been a loss.
In the six games Iowa has topped 100 yards on the ground, the Hawkeyes have won.
The Hawkeyes averaged 2.2 yards per carry on Saturday, about two yards per attempt below where Iowa wants to be on running plays.
The Hawkeyes leaned toward the run against Purdue, particularly on first down where Iowa ran the ball on 17 of its 29 first-down snaps and averaged 2.5 yards per carry.
That doesn't cut it in Big Ten play.
The silver lining?
The Nebraska team Iowa plays on Friday is giving up 205.8 yards per game on the ground, 13th among Big Ten teams.
5. The moving on
Iowa doesn't have much time to dwell on Saturday's loss and that's not necessarily a bad thing.
With a game at Nebraska on Friday this week, that accelerates the Hawkeyes' preparations and Iowa's work on the Cornhuskers begins on the practice field today.
In this instance, being forced to flush the Purdue problems and turning attention to a Nebraska team dealing with its own collection of issues is probably not a bad thing.