Posted by: marcmwm | May 13, 2009

ESPN.com’s Rittenberg: Stanzi No. 23 in the Big Ten

Quarterback Ricky Stanzi (12) hits receiver Steven Staggs (83) during their spring football practice on Saturday, April 18, 2009 in Iowa City, Iowa. (The Gazette, Brian Ray)

Quarterback Ricky Stanzi (12) hits receiver Steven Staggs (83) during their spring football practice on Saturday, April 18, 2009 in Iowa City, Iowa. (The Gazette, Brian Ray)

ESPN.com’s Adam Rittenberg, the Big Ten big foot for ESPN.com, is in the midst of ranking the conference’s top 30 players.

Today, he placed Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi at No. 23. I was so gonna Rick roll, ya’all, but didn’t have the heart in the end.

I have no idea if this is in the ballpark of where Stanzi should be. He did rise last season from unsteady backup to leader-type with some playmaking ability.

Iowa’s final drive against Penn State was the clincher for me. Shonn Greene didn’t have a lot to do with that one. On the 15-play, 57-yard drive, the Doak Walker Award winner gained 10 yards on five carries. Stanzi completed 4 of 8 for 37 yards. He also converted two huge third downs, one an 11-yarder to tight end Brandon Myers, who muscled for the first down, and the other a 10-yarder to Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, while the right-hander rolled left. Two Greene carries later, Daniel Murray knocked down a 31-yarder, knocked out Penn State’s national title hopes and earned himself a scholarship.

Players don’t just grow through great and wonderful successes.

The 27-24 loss at Illinois was a learning experience. Stanzi finished 11 of 29 for 191 yards and a touchdown. He threw two interceptions, one leading to an Illinois field goal and a 10-6 halftime lead, and the other ending the game. After Matt Eller put the Fighting Illini up 27-24 with 24 seconds left, Stanzi was picked off by cornerback Vontae Davis.

Stanzi fumbled on a sack by cornerback Dere Hicks, who returned the fumble 7 yards for a 24-9 lead with 13:56 left in the game.

In the postgame, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz was asked if it was a step back or forward for Stanzi.

“Probably both,” Ferentz said. “I’m an optimist, I look at it as a step forward. But he had some tough plays, some tough situations.”

Later, Ferentz said, “It was a learning day today.”

Early in the fourth quarter, Iowa trailed 24-9. It looked to be over, but no. Stanzi went 4 of 10 in the fourth for 91 yards, a TD and an interception.

I liked Stanzi’s attitude after the game. Head was up. Took all appropriate blame. He was sane and civil. Remember, this was the week before Penn State. The Hawkeyes now stood 5-4 with the No. 3 team in the nation coming to Kinnick. The week of practice between Illinois — a learning day — and Penn State was when it clicked for Stanzi. Sure, he still had Greene, but it was clear he had to clean up his game and he responded.

“I learned we need to finish drives, and that all goes back to earlier in the season,” Stanzi said. “That’s something we weren’t doing and we didn’t do it again today. That’s the offense’s main thing, putting points on the board.

“Field goals are nice, but not when you’re that close.”

Now, what does Stanzi have to be in ’09? Does Iowa need 240 yards? Iowa obviously needs a positive TD-INT ratio.

What are reasonable goals and expectations in your minds?

Now, check below for your Rick-Ricky Roll.

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Responses

  1. I’m excited to see him take the next step. I hope he can evolve into the go to guy on the offense.

  2. That video is awesome. Marc, do you know who made that? Must be the coolest guy ever. I’d love to me him some day.

  3. LOL!!!

    I saw you posted about it on YouTube. That’s awesome, man. That’s also the hardest I’ve laughed in a while.

    Something tells me you might know him.

  4. Jake, during the spring scrimmage, Stanzi seemed to know that he’s more than the Shonn Greene hander offer.

    It was only one spring snapshot, but he was confident and moved the offense.

  5. Yeah, I made it last fall… I thought I’d reply to your post considering I’m so humble and all. Putting the bartender in the clips was actually my wife’s idea.

  6. Not a bad video.

    The guy that made the Hitler war room video about Stanzi being pulled for Jake–that is also a classic.

  7. I liked the video, but I’m pretty upset that Iowa lost the recruiting war with Syracuse for Greg Paulus’ services at quarterback….

    This may be the year I get to see receivers regularly hit in stride over 25 yards down field.

  8. Why do I think Greg Paulus is a bad idea? Maybe ‘cuz he’s 185 pounds?

    Unspoken in the whole Jake-Stanzi debate was the fact that Ricky throws a better deep ball. The accuracy issue was apparent.

  9. […] Adam Rittenberg ranked Iowa QB Ricky Stanzi at No. 23 on Wendnesday on his Big Ten football blog. Today, Rittenberg put Iowa middle linebacker Pat […]

  10. The Hitler war room video about Stanzi being pulled for Jake is definitely a classic.

    I’ve done numerous youtube and google searches but it’s not turning up. Anyone know where it can be found?


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