Iowa Football

Iowa football notes: Terry Roberts continues to make impact on special teams

Kirk Ferentz predicts Roberts will be 'an every-down player'

IOWA CITY — Terry Roberts is from Cathedral Prep in Erie, Pa., a high school, you might remember, that produced former Hawkeye and NFL Defensive Player of the Year Bob Sanders.

Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz went out on a semi-limb Friday after his team’s 26-20 win over Nebraska and predicted Roberts eventually will be another Sanders. Not necessarily in the All-America, NFL way, but certainly a defensive starter some day.

He just loves the way the special special-teams player goes about his business on the field.

“Terry, by far, has been extraordinary this year,” Ferentz said. “We kind of knew it was coming because we’ve seen him in practice. He has done a pretty good job as a player, too, a cornerback. But going back to preseason, he was really humming on special teams. You could tell it was important to him, he was committed to it, and, boy, does he play with a lot of energy and toughness out there. It elevates the whole group.

“My prediction is at some point it’s going to show up with him being an every-down player as well. Because it’s all the same. You’ve got to learn a little bit more about playing corner, but it’s hard to give a player that kind of energy and determination. It’s been fun to watch him grow and develop.”

Roberts seems to always be the guy downing a Tory Taylor punt inside the 10-yard line. He did that again Saturday.

He also was the guy who recovered a muffed punt by Nebraska in the fourth quarter that set up the fourth and final Keith Duncan field goal of the day. The sophomore is always around the football.

“Just take advantage of all your opportunities,” Roberts said. “Whether it’s special teams, offense, defense, field goal, field-goal block, it doesn’t matter. Anytime you are on that field, give it 100 percent. Even if it you are in for just one play, then you’ve got to take advantage of it. That might be the play to change the game.”

Quick slants

— Sophomore Jack Plumb got the start at right tackle for Iowa, his first as a collegiate. Mark Kallenberger missed the game with an injury he incurred last week against Penn State.

Plumb is a 6-foot-7, 293-pounder from Green Bay, Wis.

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“This week, I went in after Mark went down and just prepared like any other week,” Plumb said. “Got the reps with the ones all week, so I had a lot of confidence going into this game.”

— Quarterback Spencer Petras went 18-for-30 passing for 193 yards and a first-quarter touchdown to Tyrone Tracy Jr. He also threw an interception.

Petras came into Friday’s game 14th in the Big Ten in passing efficiency and continues to look good at times and not so good at others. Ferentz was asked if the coaching staff is considering a change at the position.

“Everybody’s got to compete. That’s the name of the game for every player on our roster. They have to compete daily. If they’re not deserving of that position, they’re not going to be there,” Ferentz said. “We don’t have any plans or discussions to make any changes there. Just all about him taking every experience that he gains week-to-week, seeing what he can do to add to his play. Just about every guy we’ve had has had the ups and downs, at every position, but quarterback is obviously visible.”

— Former Iowa wide receiver Oliver Martin had one catch for 7 yards for Nebraska. The former Iowa City West prep transferred after one year in the Hawkeyes program, joining the Cornhuskers as a walk-on.

He signed out of high school with Michigan, where he redshirted one season and then played one season.

Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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