By Tyler Devine
A seemingly wide open screen pass fell to the ground, and with it fell the Iowa football team’s chance at victory in its season-opening 24-20 loss at Purdue on Saturday.
With less than two minutes left to play, sophomore quarterback Spencer Petras lobbed a pass over Purdue defensive linemen before they wrestled him to the ground, and sophomore running back Tyler Goodson, who appeared to have space and blockers in front of him, couldn’t come up with the catch.
“It was just a bad play,” Goodson said. “We just need to work on the fundamentals of the game. The screen was open, but unfortunately we weren’t able to get the pass and we were a little late on releasing. It’ll be OK, we’ll just go in next week and work on it even more and, hopefully, we’ll have success later down the road for it.”
The ensuing fourth down play resulted in an incomplete pass from Petras to Nico Ragaini, and Purdue took over and ran out the clock.
The 6-foot-5, 231-pound Petras, who finished with 265 yards on 22-of-39 passing in his first career start, appeared to take the blame for the failure of the play.
“Bottom line, if I can get him a better ball, I’m sure it makes it easy,” Petras said. “But I didn’t really see what happened, I was on the ground.”
Petras’ 265 yards passing is the most by a Hawkeye quarterback in his first career start since Jon Beutjer in 2000.
Petras is the third out of the last nine Iowa quarterbacks to lose their starting debut, and the first since Jake Rudock against Northern Illinois in 2013.
Career highs: Sophomore tight end Sam LaPorta tied his career-high with 71 receiving yards.
Goodson tied his career-high with five receptions. His 40-yard reception was a career long.
Senior linebacker Barrington Wade had a career-high five tackles and had his first career sack and interception.