For the first six weeks of the season, senior Spencer Petras took every snap at quarterback for the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Until a disastrous pick-six to close another anemic half of football against Ohio State on Saturday, the man the helm of the worst offense in college football hadn’t found himself with a headset and a warm seat on the bench.
Junior Alex Padilla finally got his shot, but the results were hardly different. Which brings us back to square one: An Iowa Hawkeyes quarterback controversy.
Who’s playing quarterback this Saturday against Northwestern? Is it Spencer Petras or Alex Padilla? Long story short: Kirk Ferentz doesn’t have the answer yet.
“We haven’t made a decision yet,” Ferentz said. “And I’m not sure when we will. We’re letting both guys work with the ones rotating them in and out and so we’ll just kind of play that out and make a decision here during the week.”
Kirk Ferentz certainly loves to keep things vague, in fact this week’s depth chart doesn’t even list one QB1 — it lists two.
Petras and Padilla? Petras or Padilla? Who knows, maybe third stringer Joe Labas will get the start. But Ferentz did say a rotation would be unlikely.
“We’re not planning on a rotation at this point. But anything’s possible. Not going to rule it out. But preferably wouldn’t want to do that. And whoever starts is hopefully not looking over their shoulder. We also have to get it going offensively and show some production, too. So hopefully whoever is in there can help us do that. That’s the team goal,” Ferentz said. “And there’s I guess a balancing act that goes on with it because you don’t want to make a decision based on one play. Something like that. We’ll kind of see. Make a decision and ride with it for a little bit.”
As for the players that will play alongside the quarterback, they’re taking a Dwayne Johnson approach to things. Well, sort of. For those of you didn’t watch 1990s wrestling, receiver Arland Bruce IV doesn’t think it matters who gets the start.
“To be honest. I think both guys do a great job of doing what they need to do,” Bruce said. “Picking up on who’s the ‘Mike,’ who’s blitzing and who’s doing what. But I think they both do a great job of what they do. … I have to worry about what I got to do and everyone else has to do their job.”
Perhaps nobody has more communication with the quarterback than the player who snaps him the ball. Center Logan Jones says there is something that stands out between Spencer Petras and Alex Padilla, but it has nothing to do with how they play.
“I guess the only thing you could say that’s different is their voice,” Jones said. “I’m snapping the ball the same versus when I’m with Spencer versus Padilla. There’s not really a whole lot of difference. They’re both good leaders, they both want to win. So right now I’d say it’s just about the same.”