Spencer Petras says he doesn’t use social media, but knows not-so-nice things are probably floating around about his play. I asked him yesterday if it’s been harder to narrow his focus these past few weeks, and he said it’s actually been the contrary.
“I’m sure I know what’s out there and I could — I don’t give a [expletive],” Petras said Tuesday. “My focus is on my own game, the game of football. It becomes really easy when when you kind of have a feeling what’s going on out there.”
Well, he’s not wrong.
But it doesn’t necessarily mean that the criticism is justified. Brian Ferentz’s play calling has been under fire for years. Iowa’s dealing with injuries at the receiver position and a run game that’s a work-in-progress to say the least. Starting ball carrier Gavin Williams says the goal lately is to remind Spencer that offense scores (or fails to score) as a unit.
“I feel like Spencer’s confidence hasn’t changed much,” Williams said.
“You’ll see a lot of things on social media of like him, people tearing him down and everything like that. But you can’t just put all the blame on one person. That’s kind of been our focus as an offense is trying to keep his head up and try to take that pressure off him because we know at the end of the day, it’s not his fault for us winning or losing.”
Speaking of social media usage, that’s not something head coach Kirk Ferentz necessarily endorses. Yes, he’s a 67-year-old man without any known social media. But team captain Riley Moss says there’s a reason he encourages his players to steer away from it.
“Part of the reason Coach Ferentz a long time ago had us off social media is so no one would see all that stuff and divide,” Moss said. “We’re working hard to stay together and work through everything.”
And at the same time, these players have to answer the same questions about the offense every single week. It’s hard to give the status quo answer to reporters who write stories critiquing a player who’s playing a sport most us never had ability to play at that level. After the 10-7 loss to Iowa State, Sam LaPorta teared up talking about his QB.
“I think he’s doing a great job,” LaPorta said. “And the average fan or the average reporter, you guys might [expletive] on him, I see what he does in practice. And I see the work that he puts in in the film room and everything.”