football Edit

Petras prepared for first start

Iowa QB Spencer Petras is prepared for his first start.
Iowa QB Spencer Petras is prepared for his first start.

His teammates say that Spencer Petras is a natural born leader. It's something that the Iowa signal caller embraces as he makes his first career start on Saturday at Purdue. Petras discusses the progress of the offense in camp, what he expects from his nerves on Friday night, and much more.

Q: Since the last time we talked, what kind of progress have you seen from the offense?

PETRAS: Yeah, I think we have made a lot of good progress offensively. We want to make sure we are executing and taking care of what we need to do successfully. We are not transitioning into the game planning phase. During camp we put an emphasis on the fundamentals. Now we are working on Purdue and its gone well so far and now we just need to finish it out and compete on Saturday.

Q: Talking to some guys you want to high school with they said you have always had great leadership skills. How has that translated at Iowa?

PETRAS: I consider myself a natural leader and I am comfortable around my teammates. I think it’s important for a quarterback to be a leader and set the tone and to have good energy at practice. That is something that comes natural to me.

Q: Have you thought about the first start and what it will be like on Friday night in the hotel? How will you calm the nerves a bit?

PETRAS: I am sure I will have nerves. As Coach Ferentz says, anyone who has a heartbeat will have some nerves in the first game. Something we talk about here is sleeping through the storm. The captain of the ship ties his knots correctly and when the storm comes and waters get choppy he can sleep through it because he has prepared to the best of his ability. I take pride in that and I have prepared to the best of my ability heading into the season. When my head hits the pillow on Friday night I will be able to sleep and I have faith that I prepared as much as I could and now I just have to go out and play.

Q: When you look at Purdue’s defense what is unique about them?

PETRAS: I would say what’s unique about them right now is that this is their first year with their new defensive coordinator. We have to prepare as well as we can knowing we don’t have any film from their defense this year with that coordinator.

Q: So what film can you use to prepare? How much are you doing? Are you a film study guy?

PETRAS: He was the coordinator at Nebraska in 2017, so we have film on that game. He was at Louisiana Tech last year and we have that library of games. I learned what it takes to prepare from Nate, so I am doing what I can to stay in the room and prepare. We put in a lot of time to be as prepared as we can be. We watch as much as we can and prepare so come Friday night or Saturday we can go out and let it rip.

Q: It will be an odd environment with no fans. It could be an advantage for you in your first start on the road and not dealing with fans. Is that a good thing or do you like the energy from the crowd?

PETRAS: I guess home games I would prefer the crowd. There is nothing better than coming out at Kinnick to a packed crowd. There are advantages and disadvantages. It will be nice because communication will not be as difficult. At the same time, it is kind of fun for a road game where you feel like a gladiator going into a hostile environment. That is a fun part of going on the road.

Q: You have said you are a leader on the team. Will you take a knee during the national anthem?

PETRAS: I am not sure if we will be out there because I don’t know how they do it at Purdue. You will have to wait and see on Saturday.

Q: You are not alone in this, but when you were thinking about your first start in January when you were named the starter it probably didn’t look like this. How is this different and does it matter to you?

PETRAS: Yeah, usually the first game it’s like 90 degrees and there was snow outside today. The approach doesn’t change. You prepare the same way and it comes down to respecting the opponent and the opportunity we have and that never changes with who we play and when. I guess it will be a little colder than in September.