The Hawkeyes let a late lead slip their fingers in the season opener, and a lot of that falls on some sloppy mistakes.

During his Sunday Conversation, head coach Kirk Ferentz hammered home the need to do a better job at cleaning up errors coming out of Week 1. In the loss to Purdue, it was particularly turnovers and penalties that proved costly.

A late fumble gave the Boilermakers the ball with a chance to win the game, and it was a costly facemask penalty that kept that drive rolling down the field. In the end, 10 penalties for 100 yards and two turnovers were too many mistakes.

That will be what the Hawkeyes focus on cleaning up and improving before taking on Northwestern:

“It makes the hill that much harder to climb and we made the thing a little too steep,” Ferentz said. “What we need to do now is take the mistakes from (Saturday) and get those cleaned up, then we have to make this week a big week of improvement, especially because of the way the preseason was this year. The teams that are smart and do things right will have an opportunity to make a big improvement in the first couple weeks of the year.”

Beyond the issues to clean up, Ferentz mentioned two players that should be back with the Hawkeyes after not traveling to Purdue:

“We should get (linebacker) Seth Benson and (offensive lineman) Jack Plumb back,” he said. “They weren’t able to travel last week but they should be able to rejoin the team and get a good week of work in. It will be good, especially at linebacker, we’re a little depleted now. Seth helps on special teams, too, and Jack gives us better depth in the offensive line.”

The Hawkeyes will be at home this weekend to take on Northwestern. Saturday’s kickoff is set for 3:30 pm EST on ESPN.