As the Iowa Hawkeyes prepare for the start of Big Ten play what was once a quarterback competition has now become a quarterback confusion. Iowa suffered its first loss of the season 21-20 at the University of Pittsburgh and after it was over fans were left wondering, where was Ricky Stanzi in the second half of the game?
Jake Christensen started at quarterback and Stanzi led the Hawks to their first touchdown in the second quarter after Pitt jumped out to a 14-3. Another Stanzi led drive in the second quarter resulted in a missed field goal. But the sophomore never saw the field in the second half as Christensen went the rest of way.
Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz says he felt Christensen had a "better grip on the game" and thought he gave them the best chance to win. The stats tell a different story. Christensen was 2-of-6 in the opening half while Stanzi was 7-of-10 for 79 yards in the second quarter and one of his incompletions probably should have been caught in the endzone.
Still, Ferentz says the decision was his. He says it was "a feeling he had based on where they were at." "That’s my call to make, and I’ll live with it," Ferentz says. A bright spot for the Hawks was the running of Shonn Greene who finished with 147 yards on 23 carries.
Green says he thinks they will respond well and bounce back. Iowa takes a 3-1 record into the start of conference play at home against Northwestern. Ferentz says the things they need to work on and clean up are pretty clear. He says the next eight games with be similar to this one and if they can improve, they have a chance to be a good football team.