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The harsh reality

Iowa tasted reality this afternoon at Kinnick Stadium. The Hawkeyes nearly overcame a mistake-filled start, before Central Michigan taught Iowa what it is like to play a 60-minute game. The Chippewas, strong early, on the ropes late, played like a team which returned 18 starters when it mattered most, ignoring an eight-point deficit on the scoreboard with less than a minute left to escape Kinnick Stadium with a 32-31 victory. Ryan Radcliff looked like the savvy senior quarterback he is as his team chewed up 92 yards of real estate over the final 2:18 to frustrate the Hawkeyes. When it was over, coach Kirk Ferentz said his team probably got what it deserved. Uncharacteristic of Iowa, the Hawkeyes were flagged for three personal fouls and a couple of pass interference as part of a 9-penalty, 106-yard day. Iowa fans chose to jeer the officials throwing the flags, with some hurling profanity in their direction as they left the field, but the harsh reality was as Ferentz stated. Iowa got what it deserved with the lack of discipline it displayed at times during the loss. "There is a point in any game where you have to keep your poise and let the referees officiate,'' Ferentz said. "I think every player has to realize if they get involved in a two-way, they run the risk of getting caught. Sometimes both guys get caught and other times, just one. We just have to be a smarter team.'' The Hawkeyes begin working on that Sunday, reviewing tape and correcting mistakes before moving on to next weekend's Big Ten opener against Minnesota. Saturday's loss leaves Iowa 2-2 in the league, joining Michigan, Illinois and Penn State with that record as league play begins. The Hawkeyes' loss was the third this season by a Big Ten team to an opponent from the Mid-American Conference. The Hawkeyes join the Nittany Lions and Indiana in that club. As much as anything, Iowa walks away from today's game with a clearer picture of how much work remains to be done by the youngest Hawkeye team Ferentz has coached. The attention to detail lacks the consistency it takes to be successful on a regular basis and if Iowa has hopes of making any sort of noise in the Legends Division race, that has to change. "We have got a lot of work to do right now, a lot of things to improve on and we are going to have to do it fast,'' Ferentz said.

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