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No QB Controversy in First Game

No QB Controversy in First Game

9/2/2002 by Jon Miller of Hawkeye Nation

 

For the first time in a long time, there is no quarterback controversy at the University of Iowa, but the Hawkeyes may have two quarterbacks that can get the job done.

The benches were emptied in Iowa’s 57-21 whitewashing of Akron on Saturday and that gave nearly every available reserve on the team a chance to show the fans and coaches what they could do.

Backup quarterback Nathan Chandler relieved starter Brad Banks in the third quarter of the game after Banks had completed five of eight passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns.

Chandler looked much more comfortable in this game than he did in the Spring Game and his delivery was much better.

”It felt great to get out there on the field and get used to things a little bit,” said Chandler, who was 7 of 12 for 92 yards. “I have been in a few games that have had some pressure, but this game didn’t have a lot of pressure in it by the time I was in the game.”

Chandler was a much heralded recruit this past winter, coming to Iowa from Pasadena City Junior College in California. He was recruited out of high school by Texas Tech and attended that school for one year before heading west.

Having earned first team community college all-American status last year and passing for nearly 2,500 yards and 26 touchdowns, some people wondered if Iowa would have another quarterback battle heading into the fall drills.

But Banks emerged as the clear number one, something that Chandler seems content with for now.

”I had a real good training camp and I feel that I was able to gain the confidence of the coaches and the players.” Chandler said. “Brad did a great job today and I expect him to continue to do that. I just need to be ready when my opportunity comes.”

Banks was impressive while throwing the ball just eight times. The first completion of the 2002 season was a picture perfect bomb to Maurice Brown that resulted in a 56-yard touchdown.

Banks also stayed with the passing plays when they were called as he only had two carries and one of those was by design.

”It feels good to come out in our first game and start off strong. We were able to work on some things and polish up some things,” said Banks who was making the first division one start of his career.

”The line made some amazing holes today. They played excellent and made some huge holes for Fred (Russell) and Jermelle (Lewis) to get some good runs.”

Iowa started off the day by making big plays, even though most of them came on the ground or from the defense, but Banks said that is to be expected of this Iowa Hawkeye football team.

”It didn’t surprise me at all,” said Banks, speaking of the big plays. “We knew what we could do and we just wanted to come out and play smart football.”

By the time Chandler made his Hawkeye debut, the game was not longer in doubt. But the 6-foot-7, 250-pound signal caller from Southlake, Texas said that the coaches do not have to change the game plan for when he enters the game.

”I had the whole game plan down,” said Chandler, who scored a 1,280 on the SAT coming out of high school. “We would not have to change anything in our game plan if I had to play. That is what we kept doing today, the same game plan expect for being more conservative in the redzone when I went into the game out of respect for our opponent.”

If Iowa fans are looking for a good controversy to get them through the season, it’s not going to come from the quarterback position.

Now, running back may be another matter altogether.

"We had a few check offs, but that was our regular game plan. We were more conservative in the redzone than we would normally be as we did not want to disrespect our opponent by running up the score, but we kept trying to make our reads and checks that we were making all game.

It wasn’t too bad. I have been in a few games that have had some pressure, but this game didn’t have a lot of pressure in it by the time I was in the game. I cant say it felt good, but its fun to get in there and make some throws and watch the guys make plays.

Our team as a whole has made a lot of strides since the spring game and individually, I really have a better grasp of the offense.

I had a real good training camp and I feel that I was able to gain the confidence of the coaches and the players. Brad did a great job today and I expect him to continue to do that. I just need to be ready when my opportunity comes.

Offense: I have the whole thing down. We would not have to change anything in our game plan if I had to play. That is what we kept doing today, the same game plan."

Comments from Brad Banks:

"It feels good to come out in our first game and start off strong. We were able to work on some things and polish up some things. We do have some weapons. We knew that . The line had amazing holes today. They played excellent and made some huge holes for Fred and Jermelle to get some good runs.

It didn’t surprise me at all (big plays). We knew what we could do and we just wanted to come out and play smart football."


Hawkeye NationHawkeye Nation was founded by Jon Miller, and later acquired by Rivals and Sports Illustrated. You can visit them at HawkeyeNation.com

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No QB Controversy in First Game - Summary of Iowa football and basketball games