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Iowa Football Stat to Watch Recap: Illinois

Terrible to Triumphant!

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 05 Iowa at Illinois
Put ya hands in the air!!
Photo by James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Our beloved Hawkeyes were misinformed about the start time for Satuday’s 2:30pm game at Illinois. Word has it the good guys were told the game started at 3:15pm. I am still investigating this egregious error by the Big Ten. Once Kirk’s crew spotted Lovie’s lads 14-0, the Hawks steamrolled the Fighting Illini.

Incredible In-game Turnaround

Something was going to give when it came to Iowa’s anemic passing offense as the Fighting Illini were giving up chunks of yards and plenty of touchdowns through the air this season. Spencer Petras struggled mightily early on. I don’t even know if struggled is accurate. It was abysmal. The lowest point may have been the Tom Davis bounce pass directed somewhat toward Tyler Goodson on an early third down. It was so bad almost everyone had the ummmm look on their face. And then something clicked. Maybe it helped that Brian Ferentz decided to get Iowa’s tight ends more involved. A pretty good idea as we are TEU. Maybe it is as simple as Petras just needed a modicum of confidence. Whatever the case, Spencer went and TOTALLY REDEEMED HIMSELF!

Spencer flipped the switch?

The Stats

Spencer Petras 18/28 220 yards 3 TD’s 0 INT’s. This is a stat line that Hayden Fry would approve of.

Petras recorded career highs in passing yards, passing touchdowns, and he tied his career high in completion percentage (64.3%). I mentioned during the game that this was the biggest in-game turnaround by a quarterback I have ever seen. Some mentioned Ricky Stanzi overcoming 5 interceptions against Indiana in 2009. That was incredible. The difference, in my opinion, was that we knew Ricky could play. We had not seen that from Petras.

Shaun Beyer 2 receptions 37 yards 1 TD

Sam LaPorta 4 receptions 57 yards 1 TD

Beyer and LaPorta put up numbers reminiscent of Fant and Hockenson. It has often been said that tight ends are a young quarterback’s best friend. Big targets in the middle of the field serve as a security blanket. Beyer and LaPorta did just that for Linus. I mean Spencer.

Iowa TE’s make everyone feel better; especially Spencer

Building On This

Iowa has shown the ability to run the football this year. Iowa will always have a stout defense under Phil Parker. If the Hawkeyes can build on Spencer Petras’ terrific 3 quarters against Illinois, Iowa will compete for Big Ten titles the next 3 years.