QB Ricky Stanzi is listed as the starter. No “slashes” or “and/or” or anything like that. The only punctuation is a comma and, so far, that means starter. So, for what that’s worth.
Usually, I see this all as overreaction. Sleep it off, boys, you’ll come to your senses. But the vibe I feel from you guys is genuine bewilderment and robust anger.
They wanna know why, coach. And that’s a more than fair question.
I can’t believe it was the end of the first half, but it’s the only evidence we have that Stanzi was out of his element. Maybe they didn’t like some of the throws he made, but there were only 10 and only three incompletions. If something was said in the lockerroom, Stanzi didn’t let on in interviews after the game. Neither did Kirk Ferentz. But if there was a hanging offense, it had to be Stanzi’s last drive or something in the aftermath thereafter. And if it was some sort of lockerroom, heat-of-the-moment disrespect from Stanzi to coaches, that’s not going to come out. One of the team’s mottos is their business is their business. That’s would keep a Drew Tate-like spout under wraps, certainly on the Ferentz end of things.
I watched the O huddle repeatedly in the second half, thinking Stanzi was going in. He was never considered. He had his helmet on, but everytime he stood behind offensive coordinator Ken O’Keefe while he conducted his last-second direction to the players going out on the field. It was like Stanzi was banished.
Another theory is this was Jake Christensen’s final exam. This was his chance to elevate, make the makeable plays (there were a few) and lift the team to victory. Stick with him, no matter the situation, and see if he can play quarterback. If he does, then there’s next week. If he doesn’t, coaches can’t say they didn’t give him every opportunity to claim the job and they move to Stanzi, as in permanently. This rings true if — and I’m talking Sears Tower, Mount Everest proportions — coaches saw this game as one they could afford to lose. And there I go, blowing this theory to shreds. You guys can grind all you want on losses, but don’t think you grind on them anymore than Kirk Ferentz. I doubt he or anyone in the Hayden Fry Football Complex saw this as “expendable.” They owe it to each other to out their best football forward every week and try to win. I don’t believe they would sacrifice a game to see if Christensen really “has” it.
And blame is spread all around for this one. The defense was leaky, at the beginning and at the end. The special teams took a step back. But QB and production from the passing game was spotty and not there when they needed it the most.
So, the end of the first half, was that really it? Let’s go over the first-half stats one more time: Christensen 2-for-6 for 15 yards with one sack and a field goal drive that started at Pitt’s 19. Stanzi was 7 of 10 for 79 yards, a mostly Shonn Greene TD drive and two sacks.
Road game? Didn’t trust the kid? If that’s the reason, why not say that?
People want more than “gut” feeling.” Ferentz praises fans, you guys, all the time for your support, particularly with sell-out crowds for Maine and Florida International. He praises you for making Iowa a much more attractive bowl team than anyone in the Big Ten outside of Michigan, Ohio State and, sometimes, Wisconsin.
Do you feel like he owes you more than “gut feeling”? I know what you’re going to say, that he does. Tell me why. And, up front, I don’t disagree.
WR………15 Koulianos, 86 Stross
LT………..79 Bulaga, 68 Kuempel
LG……….52 Eubanks/63 Vandervelde, 69 Haganman
C………..58 Bruggeman, 67 Koeppel
RG…..71 Olsen, 73 Gettis
RT……….60 Calloway, 75 Aeschliman
TE…….83 Myers/81 Moeaki, 82 Reisner
QB……12 Stanzi, 6 Christensen
WR………80 Brodell, 22 Sandem
RB……….23 Greene, 25 O’Meara
FB……36 Morse, 47 Leppert
DE……94 Clayborn, 98 Geary
DT……….53 Kroul, 95 Klug
DT……..47 King, 59 Narinskiy
DE……46 Ballard, 91 Binns
OLB…..49 Edds, 45 Nielsen
MLB….43 Angerer, 55 Coleman
WLB….42 Hunter, 48 Johnson
LC……29 Fletcher, 28 Shaun Prater/16 Gardner
SS……9 Sash, 2 Dalton
FS……30 Greenwood, 3 Morrow
RC….19 Spievey, 4 Bernstine
PT……5 Donahue, 6 Guthrie
PK….8 Mossbrucker, 1 Murray