Iowa head coach talks QB competition, rushing attack

·3 min read

Iowa head coach talks QB competition, rushing attack originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

A quarterback competition was held in Iowa City.

Fifth-year senior Spencer Petras and junior Alex Padilla squared off over the summer for the starting quarterback position.

According to head coach Kirk Ferentz, Petras will take the reigns.

"It's a long evaluation, and we evaluate everything, we tell our guys starting in January," head coach Kirk Ferentz said. "Obviously we're not doing football stuff, and both Spencer and Alex are both quality guys, but just the time on the field, I think Spencer has out-performed Alex a little bit at this point. He's further ahead and gives us a better chance to be successful. That's not to diminish what Alex has done. Both have improved."

Petras held the starting QB title last year but was yanked on injury and poor performance on occasions. He threw four interceptions in a game against Purdue last season and left versus Northwestern due to a shoulder injury.

Last season, Petras threw for just under 2,000 yards and 10 touchdowns. He tacked on nine interceptions and completed 57 percent of his passes. On the other hand, Padilla threw for 636 yards and two touchdowns with the little time on the field he received.

Iowa relies heavily on their supreme defense, which held teams to under 20 points per game last season -- good for 13th in the country.

They also rush the ball more than they pass it. The Hawkeyes lost star running back Tyler Goodson to the NFL, so they're left with the Williams (not brothers) -- Leshon and Gavin. Gavin created 352 yards from scrimmage last season, but never saw the endzone. Leshon saw the field in three games.

"They've done a good job," Ferentz said on the rushing offense. "I alluded, we had some injury issues about a week and a half ago which made it a little bit bumpy, but I think everybody is on the same page, and that's probably why we need to play. You get to a point where the offense knows the defense, defense knows the offense, and it's like spy versus spy out there."

The offense will be a bit different this season. It might take time to adjust to everything coming this season with new rushing attacks and players on the field. Ferentz mentioned rotating positions to help diversify the lineup and refresh the field. They might rotate quarterbacks this season too.

"The difficulty is when guys can't do what they're supposed to do," Ferentz said. "That's where the difficulty comes in. Even if you're rotating players at some positions, you don't mind doing that. Other positions you don't want to do it a lot. That's where experience really comes into play and is helpful and beneficial, but hopefully it won't be a big problem for us."

The Hawkeyes play their first game of the season at home against South Dakota State on Saturday, Sept. 3.