That’s what football coaches preach to everyone on the team, from the top down. That message has resonated with Iowa offensive lineman Tristan Wirfs after the Hawkeyes dropped a 17-12 decision to Penn State on Saturday night in Kinnick Stadium. He knew he and the rest of the offensive line struggled against the Nittany Lions defensive front.

Iowa struggled to establish a run game again, picking up just 70 yards on 30 attempts against a good Penn State defense. Nate Stanley was also sacked twice and hurried five more times throughout the game.

After the game, Wirfs told Mark Emmert of the Des Moines Register that the offensive line took responsibility for the loss.

“A football game starts with us,” Wirfs said. “We start the play pretty much. So, if we’re going, then everyone else is going.”

Wirfs also apologized to the defense for the poor offensive line play. This is the second straight week the Iowa defense has played well enough to win with the offense failing to produce points.

Another Iowa offensive lineman, Mark Kallenberger, also took responsibility for the play in the trenches. Kallenberger, who was making his first start for the Hawkeyes, said he wasn’t very technically sound in the game.

“My feet and hands can be a lot better,” Kallenberger told Emmert. “For some of the rushes on Nate and some of the sack, I can take responsibility for that. My fundamentals weren’t very good right there.”

Iowa dropped to 4-2 with the loss and is now 1-2 in B1G games. The Hawkeyes have scored just one touchdown in the last eight quarters and mustered just 15 total points. That won’t win many games in the B1G.

Next Saturday, Iowa hosts Purdue.