Iowa football does not name starting quarterback on Week 9 depth chart

Senior Spencer Petras and junior Alex Padilla were both listed on the Hawkeyes’ two-deep, but neither were declared Iowa’s starter.


Jerod Ringwald

Ohio State defensive end Zach Harrison pressures Iowa quarterback Alex Padilla’s throw attempt during a football game between Iowa and No. 2 Ohio State at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022. Padilla threw an interception on the play. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 54-10.

Austin Hanson, Pregame Editor

Iowa football released its weekly depth chart Monday, and there was an “or” at the quarterback position. Neither junior Alex Padilla, nor senior Spencer Petras were listed as starting quarterbacks.

Both played two quarters in Iowa’s 54-10 loss to No. 2 Ohio State last Saturday. Petras started the game, but was benched in favor of Padilla at halftime. Petras turned the ball over three times, tossing two interceptions and losing one fumble. One of Petras’s giveaways was a pick six.

When Padilla took over for Petras, he and center Logan Jones botched the Hawkeyes’ first offensive snap of the second half. Ohio State recovered the ensuing fumble, claiming possession at its own 45-yard line.

On the Hawkeyes’ next drive, Padilla threw an interception to safety Tanner McCalister. Senior tight end Sam LaPorta, who was the intended target of Padilla’s pass, bobbled the ball and allowed McCalister to make an interception.

Padilla and Petras went 5-of-10 for 32 yards and 6-of-14 for 49 yards, respectively, against the Buckeyes.

After the contest, Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz did not indicate which quarterback will be the Hawkeyes’ starter going forward. He said he’ll address his QB situation during a press conference scheduled for Tuesday at 1:45 p.m.

Padilla started three games last year while Petras was injured. In the four games Padilla played at least one half in last season, Iowa went 4-0. The Hawkeyes averaged about 26 points per game during that stretch.

Padilla has appeared in eight games in his career with the Hawkeyes, completing 61 of 124 attempts for 680 yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions.

Petras is 16-10 in 26 career starts in the Black and Gold. He’s completed 93 of his 175 pass attempts for 989 yards and two touchdowns in 2022. Petras has thrown five interceptions this season.

The Hawkeyes also changed their starter at cash, as junior Sebastian Castro is slated to take the field against the Wildcats.

Senior Logan Klemp, sophomore Cooper DeJean, and junior Jestin Jacobs have all played cash this year. DeJean was listed as a first-string cornerback on this week’s two-deep to fill a hole left by senior Terry Roberts, who will likely miss his third game of the season with a lower leg injury on Saturday. 

Roberts hasn’t appeared on Iowa’s depth chart since Week 4. Jacobs was Iowa’s Week 1 starter at cash. He sustained a season-ending injury during Iowa’s 27-10 win over Rutgers on Sept. 24.

While DeJean has filled in for Roberts over the last few weeks, Klemp has been starting at cash. He is listed as a backup at cash this week. Castro has made 16 tackles this season, while Klemp has six.

On Iowa’s previous two-deeps, Castro had been slotted as strong safety Kaevon Merriweather’s backup. Castro’s move up allowed true freshman and five-star recruit Xavier Nwankpa to make his first career appearance on Iowa’s depth chart.

Nwankpa, who has played the majority of his collegiate snaps on special teams, will back up free safety Quinn Schulte on Saturday. Junior Reggie Bracy will be the Hawkeyes’ second-string strong safety against the Wildcats.