IOWA CITY, Iowa — It's an incident that could go down as of the best pranks in college football history.
Iowa football fans have been increasingly critical of offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz in the early stages of the season after a pair of anemic offensive performances, in which the Hawkeyes logged just 316 total yards.
These mounting frustrations inspired anonymous Iowa fans utilizing the video-sharing website Cameo to request personalized video messages intended for Ferentz from current Iowa men's head basketball coach Fran McCaffery and former Iowa defensive back Bob Stoops, both of which responded.
Neither McCaffery nor Stoops mention Ferentz in their videos, only addressing the recipient as "Brian." Currently-available information suggests that neither coach knew that their messages were intended for Ferentz.
The result is a troll job that college football fans everywhere can appreciate.
"Hey Brian, Fran McCaffery here. I wanted to reach out and let you know that all of us here in the Hawkeye family are thinking about you." McCaffery said in the Cameo video. "Your family loves you. Your dad loves you. The Hawkeyes love you. You may be thinking about making a move back to New England, but wherever you go, wherever you are, the Hawkeye family will always be with you. Go Hawks."
Ferentz was an assistant coach for the New England Patriots from 2008 to 2011 before joining the Iowa staff.
But the jokesters didn't stop there. They also deceived long-time Ferentz family friend and national champion head coach Bob Stoops to make a similar cameo video directed at the offensive coordinator.
"Hello there, Brian, Bob Stoops here saying hi, listen, I know you've had a tough couple of two, three years there, but the good news is your family still supports you, buddy, especially your dad," Stoops said in his Cameo video. "He wants you to know that. Even though everybody seems to be against you sometimes, the best advice is to break free from the family business, man, go do what you got to do. Anyhow, all the best to you, and a big boomer sooner and good luck."
Stoops was an All-Big Ten defensive back for the Hawkeyes from 1979 to 1982 and a member of the Iowa coaching staff from 1983 to 1987. He coached alongside Ferentz's father, Kirk, on Hayden Fry's staff from 1983 to 1987.
The Hawkeyes' offense has struggled tremendously to start the season, averaging 158 yards per game, which puts them last in the FBS, out of 131 teams.
After the Hawkeyes' offense managed just 7 points in their season-opening slugfest against FCS opponent South Dakota State on Sept. 3, they once again experienced offensive woes in last Saturday's 10-7 defeat at the hands of rival Iowa State.
Prior to the loss, Iowa had defeated Iowa State in six straight match-ups dating back to 2015.
The Hawkeyes currently rank in the bottom 10% of the FBS in points per game, yards per game, passing yards per game and completion percentage, among other statistical categories, according to the statistical database at teamrankings.com.
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