‘I’ve been through it all’: Iowa’s Spencer Petras leaning on experience to guide Hawkeyes

·4 min read

As a career-defining season begins for Iowa starting quarterback Spencer Petras, the signal-caller from San Rafael, Calif., is confident that his lengthy starting résumé has him primed for his best season with the Hawkeyes.

“Yeah, I think with experience, everything gets better. I’m really happy with how I’m throwing the football right now, happy with how I’m processing, how I’m executing the offense. You know, there’s absolutely the mental side of it, it gets easier as you go. As a senior now, it’ll be my third year starting, I’ve been through it all. There’s not much that could happen in terms of ups and downs of a season that will be new, so definitely excited,” Petras said this week ahead of his team’s opener versus South Dakota State.

Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz shared earlier this week why Petras was the man for the starting job over both Alex Padilla and Joe Labas.

“It’s a long evaluation, and we evaluate everything, we tell our guys starting in January. 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 outperformed 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.

“Now the thing is can we put this whole thing together and be a little bit more productive offensively. Both guys have done a good job. Spencer has continued to climb,” Ferentz said.

Ultimately, how Petras gets remembered in Iowa City is likely tied to whatever good or bad happens this season. The Hawkeyes’ starting quarterback made it a busy offseason, spending time working with his quarterback trainer Tony Racioppi and attending the Manning Passing Academy.

Petras finished the 2021 season with 1,880 passing yards on just 57.3% completion and 10 touchdown passes against nine interceptions. During the spring, Petras noted how that completion percentage number was one area he really wanted to improve this season.

Then, in July, Petras expounded on where he thought he and the offense improved the most during the spring.

“I was really happy with spring ball. I just felt like I was more decisive than I’ve ever been. I felt really good how I threw the ball. Some of the changes we’ve made, I feel really good about and just I’m excited to see how it carries over to camp. We were still working through a lot of stuff schematically and now I think we’ve got a better idea of exactly where we want to go. It feels good and I’m excited,” Petras said.

He said then that he feels he and offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz have a better plan for how they want to attack opposing defenses than before.

“The thing I love the most, I just think we’re a lot more detailed now. Without, I don’t want to give away too much, we’re very detailed now. I feel like I have a really good plan for every play and that excites me as an analytical guy, as a guy that can identify coverage really fast and having the solid plan. I mean, Brian’s been working his (expletive) off, trying to just detail everything. I’m really happy with how it looks right now. The real test will be training camp and getting a feel for it all, getting the reps that I need and then obviously just got to go do it in the season,” Petras said.

Now, training camp is in the books, and the proof will be in the pudding that is the 2022 season. How much have both Petras and Ferentz grown in tandem? Their journey to a combined redemption begins this morning against the Jackrabbits.

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Story originally appeared on Hawkeyes Wire