Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz continues to sing a positive tune on his team’s quarterback situation as the Hawkeyes begin fall camp.
Ferentz joined SiriusXM‘s Rich Eisen on The Rich Eisen Show. Eisen asked if the Hawkeyes do indeed have an open quarterback competition as camp begins.
“I think yes and no. I think that probably gets played a little bit more publicly, or, you know, it’s a bigger deal publicly. What I said in Indianapolis a week ago, a week-plus ago was that I feel really fortunate that we’ve had two guys on our team we’ve won games with. Spencer (Petras) got injured last year, had to come out, and Alex Padilla stepped in and did a great job and led us to a couple victories.
“There are teams in the country, teams in our conference that couldn’t say that last year. They lost their guy—and that’s part of football, you know, players get hurt—and they couldn’t overcome that. So, I’m really proud of our team for overcoming that and then obviously Alex did a really good job. I think both Alex Padilla and Spencer Petras are better players than they were a year ago. That’s our expectation for all of our players, especially our good guys. So, I think we’ve got a healthy situation and we’re going to let everybody compete in camp, every position and we’ll see where it all goes,” Ferentz said.
Spencer Petras was listed atop the depth chart to start the spring and in the recent offensive depth chart that was unveiled as the Hawkeyes headed to Big Ten Media Days.
As Ferentz mentioned, Petras battled the injury bug last season. The San Rafael, Calif., native started the first nine games of the 2021 season before an injury meant that Padilla got the starts against Minnesota, Illinois and Nebraska. Ultimately, it should be a positive for Iowa, though. Padilla picked up valuable experience and proved like Ferentz said that he can win the Hawkeyes football games.
Petras finished the 2021 season starting the losses against Michigan in the Big Ten Championship game and the Vrbo Citrus Bowl versus Kentucky. Overall, Petras completed 165-of-288 passes for 1,880 passing yards with 10 passing touchdowns against nine interceptions. His completion percentage of 57.3% is a number that Petras has zeroed in on as one of the primary numbers he’s looking to improve.
Meanwhile, Padilla completed 55-of-112 passes for a 49.1% completion percentage, for 636 passing yards and two passing touchdowns against a pair of interceptions.
The Hawkeyes’ season opener is against South Dakota State on Sept. 3 at 11 a.m. from inside Kinnick Stadium.
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