football Edit

Petras talks first win as a starter

Spencer Petras discusses his first win as Iowa's starting quarterback. (Photo: USA Today)
Spencer Petras discusses his first win as Iowa's starting quarterback. (Photo: USA Today)

After losing his first two starts for the Hawkeyes, Spencer Petras and the the Iowa football team needed a win. They got one in convincing fashion on Saturday afternoon when they dominated Michigan State, 49-7. Following the win, Petras discusses his improved performance at quarterback, other players who stepped up to fill big roles this week, and the importance of tempo for the Hawkeye offense.

Q: How important was the first drive to march down and get points?

PETRAS: Extremely important. It set the tone from the beginning. We talked all week that we need to show up at 11:02 for the kick and be ready to play and collectively we did that and it was a great start to the day.

Q: Coming off the last game you had some reflection. How did you put that behind you and have a good week this week?

PETRAS: Every week you have to focus on improving what you can and fixing what you can and moving forward. With this team, we did a great job of that this past week. We saw what we needed to do better, made corrections, and had a good team win today.

Q: No turnovers today and only one sack. How important was it for you to play spotless football with that big lead?

PETRAS: Extremely important. It was a point of emphasis this week. We have seen how we can play in the previous two weeks when we play turnover free and penalty free. That starts with me, last week with three turnovers so that was a point of emphasis to try and play clean football. I thought we did a good job of that today.

Q: How much of an emphasis was tempo this week in practice and how does it feel to get your first win as the starting quarterback at Iowa?

PETRAS: Tempo is always extremely important. We play our best football when we are getting in and out of the huddle and getting lined up fast and then running plays. It gives our offensive line a chance to get a rhythm and our receivers and running backs and myself to keep the rhythm. It feels great to get a win, especially the way it came today with a full team effort with special teams, defense, and offense. We all played well.

Q: Last week you had two tipped pass interceptions and today you had one go off Tracy and it goes to Brandon Smith. Is that the kind of break you need?

PETRAS: Yeah, sometimes a play goes your way and sometimes it doesn’t, especially off a tip where it could go anywhere. It was definitely lucky and credit to Brandon for the heads up play and for him to be able to track it and get the completion. That was definitely nice that we caught it this week.

Q: There was talk early in the week that taking Tuesday off was kind of a disruption. Was all that kind of overrated?

PETRAS: I think it was a factor. And I think it will be a factor this coming week because anytime you have a short week or a disrupted week, usually it’s the same for both teams. Michigan State had to take Tuesday off as well, so it’s about who can handle it the best. It will the same this week when we play on Friday, so which team can prepare the best in the shortened time.

Q: You were without two starting offensive lineman and one starting receiver. How did you adjust to that and was there an actual adjustment?

PETRAS: We talk about the next man up mentality and that was critical today. Our guys did a great job filling in for Ihmir and the guys up front. That’s what we have to do because in any year there are going to be injuries and whatever. There are going to be ups and downs and guys playing this year with the Covid year, so who knows what will happen. Next man up is huge and I thought the guys that were in there today did a really good job.

Q: After last week Coach Ferentz said he wanted you guys to find more balance on offense. How much was that a focus this week and what did today show you about the importance of being balanced?

PETRAS: With any offense in order to be successful you have to be able to run the ball. We did a really good job of that day. Our offensive line blocked it really well, especially against these guys that like to pack the box. Our running backs ran hard and ran effectively and that opens everything up and it makes it easier for us to do whatever we want to do in the offense. Staying balanced is huge and we did a good job of that today.

Q: Did you expect that from Charlie Jones, especially on special teams?

PETRAS: Yeah, Charlie Jones has showed it to all of us since he has been here. He’s a really good player and a great teammate. He prepares really well and works hard. He’s a great player and I am really glad he had the success that he did. The whole special teams unit had a great day. Tory is doing a great job and really the whole special teams unit is doing a great job.