Petras Will Let Game Come to Him

October 13, 2020

Written by Anna Kayser

Hawkeye Nation

There’s no doubt that Iowa starting quarterback Spencer Petras is stepping into unfamiliar,
daunting territory during his first year at the helm of the Iowa offense.

Due to the novel coronavirus outbreak that has spread around the world, college football –
especially the Big Ten – looks incredibly different in 2020. Instead of the four-game non-
conference schedule that normally opens up the season across the board, many conferences
have limited competition to between its own member schools. The Big Ten, who elected to
cancel its fall football season before reversing that decision to an Oct. 24 start date, is no
exception.

Now, it’s eight straight games of grueling conference action for Iowa that will feature some of
the best in the conference, all leading up to a final ninth week with a potential Big Ten
Championship appearance.

So, for the sophomore quarterback, who spent the last two seasons backing up current
Minnesota Viking Nate Stanley, his starting career will begin on the road, with no fans in
attendance, against Big Ten West opponent Purdue. A team that, by no means, is a roll-over
opponent for the Hawkeyes.

Despite only seeing action for three games and only attempting 11 total in-game passes the
past two years, backing up Stanley brought its advantages for Petras. Now, he has a chance to
use them as he prepares for an unusual season.

“The biggest thing I learned from Nate is how to prepare well to be a Big Ten quarterback,”
Petras said. “Nate was an extremely good example for the two years I was able to be behind
him and I have no question in my mind that he showed me the right way to prepare for a
game.”

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The advantages from last year don’t stop there. Iowa is returning a core group of weapons on
both the receiving and running sides of the ball that boast high expectations for the offense
despite its new playmaker.

Of wide receivers, Nico Ragaini, Tyrone Tracy Jr., Ihmir Smith-Marsette and Brandon Smith all
saw consistent playing time in 2019 and were a big part in helping Stanley’s offense produce
how it did. Sam LaPorta in the tight end room and running back Tyler Goodson both emerged as
Iowa’s standout starts of the future and are expected to make a considerable impact on this
season.

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With the returners on this year’s squad, Petras has the tools to make this a dominant Hawkeye
offense.

“I’m extremely lucky, I feel really grateful just to be in the same room as a lot of these guys,”
Petras said. “It’s an honor to be able to go out there and play with them and it’s my job that this doesn’t go to waste. We have a great team with a lot of talented guys and it’s up to all of us but
it’s up to me to execute this offense well.”

That kind of leadership mentality is something that can boost Iowa’s offense going forward with
Petras at the helm, but it’s not something that the coaching staff expects Petras to have at all
times.

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Especially at the quarterback position, it’s important for Petras to go out and play his game
instead of trying to do too much to push the offense more than it needs to be.

“It’s always nice when you got a guy who can win the game and maybe put the team on his
shoulders every now and then and do something really special, but I think especially at the
starting point of this season right now it’s really important for Spencer to realize, just go out
and play your position,” head coach Kirk Ferentz said. “We’re not counting on you to save our
team or make everything happen for us.”

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