IOWA CITY, Iowa – Maybe it was the rumbling from the eastbound Iowa Interstate practice that was passing the Iowa soccer constructing that prompted coach Kirk Ferentz to make a railroad reference on why the Hawkeyes will begin quarterback Spencer Petras in Saturday’s sport towards Nevada at Kinnick Stadium.
“We’re not attempting to drive this practice off the street by any stretch,” Ferentz mentioned Tuesday. “It’s not an intentional derailment.”
Iowa’s offense has been a slow-moving freight practice within the first two weeks of the season, lumbering together with restricted cargo. The Hawkeyes (1-1) have only one discipline objective and one landing, and at simply 316 yards within the first two video games of the season appear like a short-line railroad as a substitute of a transcontinental specific.
Petras, who’s 23-of-51 passing for 201 yards and two touchdowns, has been the largest goal of criticism, and Ferentz left open the opportunity of a change to backup Alex Padilla for this week.
Instead, it is Petras at No. 1 on the depth chart, and Ferentz has to reply why on Tuesday.
“I’m going again to the physique of labor,” Ferentz mentioned. “This sort of ties into another matters, however we have been 0-2 in the beginning of the ’20 season after which we received 12 straight with (Petras) at quarterback. He constructed up some credit score proper there, and I believed he performed very well. Not in every sport, however he did a fairly good job and led our soccer crew. He’s obtained resume going.”
Asked on Tuesday morning if he was going to be the starter, Petras gave the impression to be greatly surprised on the query.
“Yeah. I … yeah, I assume so. It’s enterprise as normal inside our constructing,” Petras mentioned.
Petras is aware of the criticism of his play is on the market, and he is aware of he has had his points. But he is avoiding no matter is being mentioned.
“I’m sort of a hermit,” Petras mentioned. “I’m not listening to something. I’m not studying something. It comes with the territory, although.
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“When you play quarterback, you enroll for all of it. You do not simply get to enroll for scoring 50 factors and throwing 5 touchdowns. If I may, I’d. But you do not get to try this. This is the sport I like, that is the place I like, that is the crew I like. And sadly there’s going to be exhausting video games. But none of meaning something for this week.”
Petras mentioned he noticed enchancment within the offense, contemplating the Hawkeyes had simply 150 yards of offense in comparison with 166 within the season-opening 7-3 win over South Dakota State.
“The factor that I believe is tough for individuals who aren’t within the constructing, or by no means competed at this stage, to know is there is a course of to all of it,” Petras mentioned. “And at all times have belief within the course of, respect for the method, and perceive that we’ll look lots higher in Week 12 than Week 1, and we’ll look higher in Week 3 than Week 2. You need to proceed to enhance. The solely time we’re not doing our job is that if we’re not bettering.”
“Long story quick, I believe we noticed some enchancment Saturday,” Ferentz mentioned. “There have been some issues that have been extra encouraging and a few issues that have been actually shut. But shut does not get it, and that is the problem that we’re operating.”
Petras’ teammates got here to the protection of him and Iowa’s offense.
“It’s a crew sport,” cornerback Riley Moss mentioned. “We allowed a landing. If they did not rating a landing, and we do not permit any factors, we win the sport. It goes that manner, too. It’s a crew sport, a crew effort. When you begin stepping into, ‘It’s this individual’s fault, it is that individual’s fault,’ the crew divides, and we’re lots worse crew due to that.”
“The objective this week,” operating again Gavin Williams mentioned, “is to get out of our personal manner and play ball.”
Ferentz acknowledged that the Hawkeyes have had their share of accidents on offense. Wide receivers Keagan Johnson and Nico Ragaini, anticipated to be starters this season, have not performed. Running again Gavin Williams didn’t play within the season opener and solely had two carries on Saturday, however is predicted to be at full energy on Saturday. Offensive line shuffling has additionally been a difficulty.
“When we really feel with this crew that we’ve got an opportunity to essentially assess issues pretty, then we’ll make the judgments we really feel mandatory,” Ferentz mentioned. “And hopefully that is coming quickly.”
For now, Petras remains to be the engineer.
“I function the identical as I do each week,” he mentioned. “I believe you guys make a giant deal about that factor, that state of affairs. I have never centered on that one bit. I’ve centered on bettering, and enjoying my greatest soccer Saturday.”