When the Utah State Aggies take the field at Maverik Stadium on Aug. 31, Iowa transfer Spencer Petras will be the player to watch.

He was named the Aggies’ starting quarterback for the upcoming 2024-25 season toward the end of spring camp, for good reason, per head coach Blake Anderson.

“Over the course of four weeks, the numbers and the eye test showed Spence’s consistency,” Anderson said. “He turned the ball over one time through 13 practices and completed 78% to 80% of his passes. He made good checks and good decisions. He had to clearly win the job and he did. (With Petras) you have a six-, seven-year professional in the room and it shows. He’s made our team better.”

Petras, an offseason transfer from Iowa, had a lot to say at the close of spring ball, about his role with the team, the Aggies’ offensive attack, backup quarterback Bryson Barnes and more.

On Utah State’s offense and scheme

Petras is clearly a fan of the Aggies’ attack and has a strong belief that USU’s offense can be a real test for opponents next season.

“I feel like we’ve been really efficient,” he said. “That has been the thing that stuck out to me. Our ability to move the chains and take what the defense is giving, and being dynamic. We are very balanced, I think, and that is hard to defend, especially with out splits.”

Petras, who came from the pro-style, run heavy offense run at Iowa, noted that space is a major difference between what Iowa ran and how Utah State operates.

“I love that there is a lot of space,” he said. “It helps me feel like I can be aggressive. There is just a lot of room. We make you cover from 53 and a half yards wide. That has been a ton of fun. Especially for a guy like me with a strong arm. I can make throws to the sideline. I’ve enjoyed it, but still have a lot of work to do.”

On backup quarterback Bryson Barnes

When spring camp started, Petras was locked in a four-way battle for the starting quarterback job with Bryson Barnes, Cooper Legas and McCae Hillstead. Hillstead and Legas have since entered the transfer portal, leaving Petras and Barnes the only remaining QBs on the roster.

Petras had nothing but positive things to say about Barnes, a transfer from Utah.

“Bryson is an outstanding human,” he said. “He is just a great guy. I think he shows up to work every day and has an outstanding attitude. He’s a competitor. I love having him in the room. He’s a great dude. Really smart guy too. ... Having a guy who has a ton of experience and has played. It’s like having a second set of eyes. ... Great dude, great player.”

On his leadership role with the Aggies

Since being named the starting quarterback, Petras believes he is more able to assert his influence on the Utah State program as a leader. A multiyear starter at Iowa, and quasi coach last season while rehabbing from injury, Petras has a great deal of experience to share with Utah State.

“I think it is helpful (to be named starting quarterback) from a leadership standout,” he said. “I think I can assert myself more with the team knowing that I’m the guy. It’ll just help our team culture and chemistry, I think.”

On what’s next for Utah State

Petras noted that he and the team will get a little bit of a break in May, before returning to work at the end of the month. There is plenty to work on, he said.

“Just excited to move forward now,” he said. “The real work comes now, in the summer, making sure our rapport and our timing is great. Quarterbacks, receivers and tight ends, all of that. Just moving forward as an offense and as a team. ... It is going to be good to take a little break but can’t wait to get back and get back to work (at the) end of May.”