Iowa lists Spencer Petras as No. 1 quarterback ahead of Big Ten title game

Chad Leistikow
Hawk Central

After coming off the bench to help rally Iowa past Nebraska, Spencer Petras is back in the saddle as Iowa's first-team quarterback.

The Hawkeyes on Monday listed Petras, who has a 13-4 record as Iowa's starter over two seasons, on the No. 1 line at quarterback, with sophomore Alex Padilla at No. 2. There was no "or" designation, meaning head coach Kirk Ferentz isn't going to let the quarterback decision remain a mystery ahead of Saturday's Big Ten Conference championship game against Michigan. 

Iowa receiver Charlie Jones, who was in the middle of a Zoom call with media members as the depth chart was released, said that Petras took the first-team reps in Monday morning's practice.

Spencer Petras completed 7 of 13 passes for 102 yards in Friday's win against Nebraska.

"Whether he's in there with the first team or second team, he's a guy that stays a leader," Jones said. "He really proved that a lot in the last couple weeks. He's continuing to improve and lead us forward."

Petras entered Friday's game with Iowa trailing at halftime, 14-6. The Hawkeyes gained 229 second-half yards on 36 snaps (6.36 yards per play) vs. 135 on 28 snaps (4.82) in the first half time Padilla. Iowa scored the game's final 22 points in a 28-21 win the delivered the Hawkeyes' fourth 10-win regular season of the Ferentz era.

For the season, Petras has completed 58% of his 236 pass attempts for an average of 6.49 yards per throw. Padilla, who offers more mobility (and led Iowa to three straight wins against Northwestern, Minnesota and Illinois while Petras recovered from a shoulder injury), has completed 46% with 6.16 yards per pass attempt.

The Hawkeyes (10-2) are appearing in their first Big Ten title game since 2015. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. CT Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.