James Franklin's Nittany Lions will have a losing season for the first time since 2004. Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Penn State Nittany Lions lost at home 41-21 to Iowa on Saturday and are off to a historically bad start to the season.

Ranked No. 8 when they began playing this season, the Nittany Lions are now 0-5 for the first time in school history. They lost in controversial fashion to Indiana in their opener, and it’s been all downhill since then.

Will Levis got the start at quarterback and went 13-of-16 for 106 yards but lost two fumbles. He was benched for Sean Clifford, who went 13-of-22 for 174 yards and two interceptions. No matter the quarterback, the team turned the ball over. That was the big issue, according to coach James Franklin.

Penn State is already without Journey Brown, Micah Parsons, and Noah Cain. On top of that, tight end Pat Freiermuth needs season-ending surgery.

The Nittany Lions have clinched their first losing season since 2004, ending a streak of 15 straight winning seasons. They won’t have their full roster of talent available to help turn things around either. They close their shortened season at Michigan, at Rutgers and home against Michigan State.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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