IOWA CITY, Iowa (NWN) — Alex Padilla got his first chance to play a meaningful snap for Iowa and did enough to impress coach Kirk Ferrantz.
He is now days away from his maiden start in place of the injured Spencer Petras.
The sophomore is listed at No. 1 on the depth chart for Saturday’s home game against Minnesota, and has been working with Iowa’s No. 1 offensive unit throughout the week.
“Based on what I’ve seen over the past two days, he’s handling it,” Ferrantz said on Tuesday. “I don’t want to call him low-key, but he’s a steady, even-tempered person, and that helps with that situation.”
Padilla is in his second year as the Patras’ backup and has seen limited action in four games this season, before capturing Iowa’s fourth right in a 17–12 victory at Northwestern. Last week.
“I can’t say enough about how Alex went in and performed,” Ferentz said. “I’m not a quarterback guru or anything like that. You looked at him and was like, ‘Okay, no big deal.’ ,
Padilla was called up after Petras was ineffective on Iowa’s first three drives, injuring his shoulder, against Wisconsin on October 30.
Padilla led the Hawkeyes to back-to-back touchdowns, then managed the rest of the game. He completed 18 of 28 passes for 172 yards.
“You have to prepare every week like you’re a starter,” Padilla said after Saturday’s game, adding that he was unavailable on Tuesday because of the class struggle. “You just have to be ready and wait for your opportunity, and when the opportunity comes, don’t waste that opportunity.”
Ferentz said he thought Petras would be a good go-to against Northwestern, but he completed just 2 of 4 passes for 4 yards and struggled with the accuracy and velocity of his throws.
Padilla said he knew his playing time was coming from listening to discussions between offensive coaches on headsets.
“It was like out of the blue, a surprise to me,” he said. “But there was no time to think about it. You just have to go in and do the plays.”
Ferrantz said he had no doubt that Padilla was able to lead the team.
“You just hope people step up and act,” Ferrantz said. “There was no reason to think he wouldn’t, but you still have to. I thought he kept a real clear head, had a really good demeanor about him, and really did things a lot for us.” Executes well.”
Padilla threw 5,684 yards in his high school career at Greenwood Village, Colorado. He redshirted Iowa in 2019, then played two games last season in mop-up duty. He has made 22 of 42 passes for 233 yards in five matches this season.
Ferrantz said that Padilla’s experience against Northwestern was the best preparation for what could happen next, depending on how Patras recovers and how Padilla plays.
“It’s like driving a car in some ways,” Ferentz said. “At some point you’re going to have to go on the highway or drive in the city. It’s all positive. But like every player, there’s going to be ups and downs.”
Ferrantz said Petras is medically ready to play, but that he hasn’t had exercise so far this week to rest his shoulder.
“We’ll see what he can do tomorrow, see what he looks like,” Ferentz said. “He’s feeling great, it’s just a matter of throwing the ball effectively.”
It is unclear what the quarterback position will look like for the Hawkeyes for the rest of the season. Petras led Iowa to a 13-4 record in his 17 debuts.
“Alex is helping himself, or helping himself, on Saturday,” Ferrantz said. “So the good news as we stand here today, which is really premature, is we have two guys who have played very well. We know more now than we did a week ago, that’s for sure. And I I want both people to be healthy, ready to go. See where it all goes here.”
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