116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — Kirk Ferentz stayed loyal to quarterback Spencer Petras throughout a disappointing performance against Iowa State, but it’s unclear how much leash is left for the fifth-year senior quarterback.
Ferentz was careful not to commit to a decision on a Week 3 starter at quarterback in his postgame press conference Saturday.
“I didn’t say that,” Ferentz said when directly asked if Petras will be the Week 3 starter. “We’ll reassess everything tomorrow.”
The impending reassessment comes after Petras went 12-for-26 for 92 yards and had one interception against Iowa State Saturday and 11-for-25 for 109 yards against South Dakota State last week.
Ferentz’s comments are a change in tone after he committed to Petras after last week’s performance before having a chance to evaluate film.
Petras said he needs “to reserve full judgment” until after he watches film from Saturday’s 10-7 loss, but he knew certain aspects of his game certainly could’ve been better.
“I can probably think of three or four plays off the top of my head,” Petras said. “Wasn’t playing with my feet. … That’s a good indicator of if the play is going to go well for me or not.”
Since last year’s Purdue loss, Petras has thrown one touchdown and nine interceptions.
Ferentz deflected some of the blame for Petras’ poor performance to other areas of the offense. Iowa is “short-handed” at wide receiver, and the offensive linemen “have to do better.”
“(Petras is) still not getting enough help to really do a fair assessment,” Ferentz said of the quarterback who is in his third year as a starter.
At the same time, Ferentz referred to the observational opportunities the staff has — and the public does not have — to evaluate Petras and backups Alex Padilla and Joe Labas in practice and off the field.
“We have a lot more exposure to what’s going on with our players on a daily basis,” Ferentz said. “You get to see them on Saturdays, obviously you get to interview them, talk to them and all that, but we see them on a daily basis.”
Some of tight end Sam LaPorta’s frustrations boiled over Saturday when a question came up about evaluating Petras’ performance.
“The average fan or the average reporter — you guys might s--- on him, but I don’t,” LaPorta said. “I see what he does in practice, and I see the work he puts in on film and everything.”
Unfortunately for the Hawkeyes, the in-game results are what matters, and the results haven’t been there in 2022 for Petras.
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