Iowa football's Kirk Ferentz criticizes overturned completion vs. Kent State: 'I hope they clean it up'

Matthew Bain
Hawk Central

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz is usually pretty mild-mannered when talking about calls that didn't go the Hawkeyes' way. Key word: usually.

Because, every now and then, when the 23rd-year head coach deems a particular call to have been egregiously bad, he'll say so.

And that's what he did following the Hawkeyes' 30-7 win over Kent State Saturday.

"If you want to open up and ask me about replays, I’ll be happy to talk about that," Ferentz quipped at the end of his postgame opening statement.

During the third quarter of the victory, Spencer Petras completed a third-and-6 pass to Tyrone Tracy Jr. to pick up a first down at Kent State's 44-yard line while leading 16-7. However, after review, officials overturned the completion because they deemed the ball to have jostled loose once Tracy hit the ground. 

Replays showed, though, that, even though the ball was loose, Tracy seemed to never lose possession, and it wasn't all that close. Even Big Ten Network's rules analyst, Dean Blandino, said during the broadcast that "at the very least" the call should have stood, even if it wasn't confirmed.

More:Iowa football cruises past Kent State 30-7 thanks to Tyler Goodson's career day

"Obviously they ruled it a non-possession or a drop, I guess. I was tempted to challenge the replay," Ferentz said. " ... I haven’t seen the replay so I can’t comment on it. My bigger concern is the mechanics of it. I felt bad for the officiating crew because that’s a good crew, they worked a good game today. And they looked like fools out there today because they’re at the mercy of whatever decisions get made upstairs."

Ferentz also was frustrated over how long the review process took, and how long it took for the review process to be initiated in the first place.

"It’s a little frustrating to say the least," he said, "and I hope they clean it up down the road."

More:Leistikow's thoughts: Iowa football takes care of business vs. Kent State behind usual formula

Petras and Tracy, not surprisingly, are confident it was a catch.

"Extremely clear to me it was a catch," Petras said.

Added Tracy: "I thought I caught it. The coaches thought I caught it. The crowd thought I caught it. But they overturned it. ... I don’t know what else I could do to make sure it is complete. I made a move. Got tackled, got up with the ball in my hand."

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz looks on during a NCAA non-conference football game against Kent State, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa.

Matthew Bain is the deputy sports editor for the Des Moines Register. He still covers some recruiting, too. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.