Iowa’s Offensive Woes Not Just a Quarterback Problem
Like many Iowa football fans, I was really looking forward to last Saturday's Iowa football season opener. And while I understand that special teams and defense will win you many a football game, so will scoring touchdowns. Iowa failed to do that against South Dakota State and much of the blame has fallen on Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras. Yes, the boo birds were out in week one at Kinnick. With Petras already being named the starter for Saturday's rivalry game against Iowa State, should Iowa fans expect any improvement?
Dear Lord, I hope so. But before we get to the poor play of Petras, don't think there isn't plenty of blame to go around. HawkCentral points out the struggles of Iowa's offensive line. Left tackle Mason Richman was beaten for a first-quarter sack. Sophomore center Logan Jones and freshman right guard Beau Stephens were both making their first career starts. It was left guard Nick DeJong's first career game at that position. How on earth is any quarterback supposed to operate behind a suspect offensive line?
Iowa fans heard good things about Petras going into this season. He'd lost weight in an effort to be more mobile. He turned heads at the Manning Passing Academy over the summer. But the stats don't lie. Over the past eight games, Petras has thrown 1 touchdown against 8 interceptions. The Hawkeyes have gone two of the last three games without an offensive touchdown. The bottom line? Petras needs to play better, more consistent football and it has to start right away against Iowa State. The Cyclones are no FCS team. They've never topped Iowa with Matt Campbell as their head coach.
Not all the blame, or boos, are directed at Petras I imagine. Iowa fans are getting a bit tired of offensive woes under offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz. Some have called for his removal. Yeah, good luck with that. There are supposed new wrinkles and plays involving the passing game this year. But with a new offensive line and so many wide receivers injured, who can tell?
HawkCentral points out that Iowa has been in this position before. In 2009 Iowa survived a scare against UNI, blocking 2 field goals to escape with a win over an FCS opponent. The next week, Iowa carved up the Cyclones 35-3. Will history repeat itself? We'll find out Saturday in Iowa City.