Iowa athletics director Gary Barta issued a statement of support to Hawkeyes head coach Kirk Ferentz on Saturday following the Hawkeyes’ 28-17 loss at Northwestern.

The loss, Iowa’s second straight, dropped the team to 4-4 on the season.

“Obviously, we’re not playing very well right now,” Barta said following the game. “We’ll get ready for next week. I have full support for Kirk (Ferentz) and the players.

“If I’m a fan, if I’m a coach, if I’m a player, and as the athletic director, it’s tough right now,” Barta continued. “Right now, the only focus is to get ready to play next week.”

Ferentz signed a contract extension in 2010 that pays him more than $3 million annually through 2020. Ferentz’s buyout is reported to be worth more than $20 million.

Iowa must win two of its final four games to avoid missing a bowl game for the first time since 2007. The Hawkeyes’ remaining schedule closes with the top two teams in the Big Ten’s Legends Division – at Michigan on Nov. 17 and home versus Nebraska on Nov. 23. 

Iowa visits Indiana (3-5, 1-3 Big Ten) on Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET, BTN). Oddsmakers have made the Hooisers a consensus 1.5-point favorite

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National columnist - Zach joined the staff in 2012...and has been attempting to improve Doug and Scott's writing ability ever since (to little avail). Outside of football season, you can find him watching the San Antonio Spurs reading Game of Thrones fan theories.