After starting the season as the back-up quarterback Ricky Stanzi is preparing to lead the Iowa Hawkeyes in the January first Outback Bowl against South Carolina. The sophomore from Ohio edged out incumbent starter Jake Christensen and took over the job on a full-time basis at the start of Big Ten play. He finished the regular season with just over 1,800 yards of passing to go along with 13 touchdown passes and seven interceptions.
Stanzi says it’s a nice opportunity, and he says he’s not looking to the past, he’s just looking ahead to what they need to do to win the game. Stanzi says he became more comfortable in his role as the season progressed and Iowa finished the season by winning five of its last six games.
He says learning his role in the offense was important and learning to execute the plays they throw at you without trying to do too much.
Stanzi says one of the biggest challenges is to recognize when an opponent is getting ready to blitz. He says that comes with experience and watching film and learning a team’s tendency.
Stanzi says the more you work on it in practice, the better you get at making quick decisions to react.