Spencer Petras starting at quarterback this week was no sure thing. So unsure that last week’s depth chart listed Iowa’s QB1 as Petras OR Alex Padilla. We didn’t find out who was getting the start until a few hours before kickoff.

Iowa’s faced a number of inferior defenses this season, yet they only had any real success against Nevada. An offense that struggled mightily through seven games turned in its best performance of the year: 33 points and Petras scored one touchdown through the air and one on a QB sneak.

He spread the ball around, completing passes to eight different Hawkeyes. His top target, Sam LaPorta, couldn’t keep a smile off his face.

“I thought I threw the ball well, thought my decisions were clean mostly all day and just taking what the defense gave,” Petras said postgame. “That’s my job to keep us on the field. It’s just like life. I tried my damnedest and couldn’t get it done last week and you don’t reset everything and abandon everything that got you to the point you’re at. You just go back to work.”

Head coach Kirk Ferentz knows his signal caller has been through a lot mentally this year. Petras talked about meeting with Iowa’s sports psychologist during the season.

Ferentz was proud to say the least.

“I’m really happy for him,” Ferentz said. “When we’re not winning, that’s rough for everybody. He’s been a little bit of a magnet for criticism or critique and that’s part of playing that position. We all believed in him. Happy to have him have success just like our football team. We needed that.”

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