116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — Spencer Petras is Iowa’s starting quarterback again.
The Hawkeyes listed Petras as the starter on this week’s depth chart ahead of Saturday’s Big Ten championship game against Michigan.
The junior came in during the second half of the Nebraska game and completed 7 of 13 passes for 102 yards. He replaced Alex Padilla, who was 6-of-14 for 76 yards and led an offense that advanced past the opponent’s 30-yard-line just once in the first half.
Petras started Iowa’s first nine games this season before leaving the Northwestern game with a shoulder injury lingering from the team’s loss in the previous week against Wisconsin.
Petras didn’t practice in the week between Wisconsin and Northwestern, he said after Friday’s win at Nebraska.
“On Monday that week, I couldn’t throw the ball five yards,” Petras said.
Then after three drives against Northwestern, Padilla played most of the snaps against Northwestern.
Padilla started against Minnesota, Illinois and Nebraska. Petras was healthy against Illinois and Nebraska, but backed up Padilla.
Petras has completed 58.1 percent of passes, recorded 14 touchdowns — nine in the air, five on the ground — and thrown six interceptions in 2021. Four of the six interceptions came against Purdue.
Padilla, meanwhile, has a 42.9 percent completion rate, two passing touchdowns, one rushing touchdown and one interception.
Wide receiver Charlie Jones noticed Petras “continued to work hard” when he was the backup behind Padilla.
“Whether he’s in there with the first team or second team, he’s a guy that stays a leader,” Jones said. “Really that proved a lot in the past couple of weeks.”
Petras and Padilla have supported each other throughout the process.
“They’re really close,” Jones said. “They’re both helping out each other in the quarterback room.”
The offense has embraced both quarterbacks during the four-week stretch of uncertainty, Jones added. Iowa is 4-0 during that period although all four wins came by 10 or fewer points.
“As far as the locker room goes, whoever’s in there, we’re rolling,” Jones said. “We trust both guys. We believe in both guys. So whoever’s in there in the huddle, we’re more than comfortable with.”
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