Rob Report: Ferentz Not Naming Starting QB

Iowa left West Lafayette Saturday with a 4-1 record and some uncertainty at one of its most important positions. Asked after the game here who would be his starting quarterback against Indiana in two weeks, Hawkeye coach Kirk Ferentz was noncommittal. It's the focus of this week's Rob Report.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. _ Asked directly if Jake Rudock at 100 percent health was his starting quarterback, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz did his best tap dancing impersonation.

"We've got two good quarterbacks, alright, so I'm not too worried about it," the Iowa coach said. "We just wanted to win today. We did. Both guys did a great job. Jake was right there with him. It's a good situation."

C.J. Beathard started his first college game here Saturday, helping the Hawkeyes escape with a 24-10 win against Purdue at Ross-Ade Stadium. Rudock (hip) had begun the last 17 contests behind center.

Beathard rallied Iowa to a 24-20 win at Pittsburgh last week when Rudock was injured. He led the Hawkeyes on three second-half scoring drives in the come-from-behind triumph.

Saturday, Beathard completed 17 of 37 passes for 245 yards and a touchdown. The sophomore from Tennessee overcame a interception he threw that was returned for a touchdown in the first quarter.

"Anytime you can get a win, it's a good feeling; other than that Pick-6, that was a bad mistake," Beathard said.

Said Ferentz: "It was a tough start for him but it's really a positive when you hit some turbulence and bounce back from it. He handled it well and the team handled it well because things weren't going real smoothly, at least in the first quarter."

Beathard shook off the turnover and commanded the huddle when Iowa got the ball back.

"He said his it his bad and let's roll. And we did," Left Tackle Brandon Scherff said.

Said running back Mark Weisman: "He did a good job. He came back after throwing that interception with the same demeanor. It was a good quarterback demeanor. He didn't let him affect him and he improved throughout that second half; had some big-time plays with his feet and through the air."

Ferentz's reluctance to share with the media who will be his starting quarterback when the team takes the field against Indiana Oct. 11 after a bye week won't affect the principles, they say.

"Whatever the coaches tell us, that's what we do," Beathard said. "We're friends. It doesn't change how we look at each other; look at the coaches. The coaches have the best interest for this team and they're going to do what they think is going to win us games."

INJURY REPORT: Ferentz said that he expected Rudock (hip) to be 100 percent healthy for the Indiana game. He dressed here Saturday and was cleared by doctors.

"He could have played," Ferentz said. "It obviously wasn't our first choice. He's not fully healthy. But he was cleared medically. You try not to put anybody out there if they have the risk of going backwards."

Receiver Matt Vandeberg and Damon Bullock, a running back, did not dress for the game. They've been regulars at their respective positions. Ferentz said they had soft tissue injuries and their status for Indiana was up in the air.

"Damon has had something that's been nagging him for a while and that popped up midweek. He's definitely got a chance to be (able to play against the Hoosiers). I'm optimistic Matt will be but time will tell," Ferentz said.

Fullback Macon Plewa (undisclosed) missed his third game in a row. Indiana native John Kenny started his second consecutive contest at the position but limped to the team bus after twisting his ankle in the second half. Ferentz expected Plewa back at practice this week, he said.

QB: Rudock, Beathard, Wiegers.

RB: Weisman, Canzeri, Parker, Wadley, Daniels, Kenny.

WR: Martin-Manley, Smith, McCarron, Powell, Willies, Mitchell, Hillyer, Stone.

TE: Hamilton, Duzey, Krieger-Coble, Kittle

OL: Donnal, Croston, Boettger, Welsh, Scherff, Blythe, Simmons, Gaul, Walsh, Myers, R. Ward, Keppy.

DL: Spears, Meier, Ott, Hardy, Johnson, Ekaktie, Trinca-Pasat, Davis, Rathjen, Bazata

LB: Alston, Spearman, Niemann, Gilson, Fisher, Bower, Jewell, Perry

DB: King, Rucker, Lomax, Mabin, Warfield, Gair, Fleming, Draper, K. Ward, Taylor, Lowdermilk.

ST: Koehn, Kidd, Kornbrath, Ellis, Kluver.

Kick Return: Weisman, McCarron, Hillyer, Kenny, Kittle, Perry, Fisher, Niemann, Krieger Coble, Jewell, Parker.

Kick Coverage: Koehn, King, Perry, Rucker, Fisher, Niemann, Spearman, Gair. Bower, Taylor, Lomax.

Punt Return: McCarron, Ott, Meier, Davis, Trinca-Pasat, Alston, Bower, Lowdermilk, Jewell, Lomax, King.

Punt Coverage: Kluver, Kidd, Perry, Fisher, Rucker, Mabin, Jewell, Spearman, Lomax, Lowdermilk, Alston.

EXTRA-POINTS: The Hawkeyes have won its last two visits to West Lafayette and seven of the last nine meetings overall against Purdue…Today’s win is Ferentz’s 112th overall victory at Iowa, which ranks 10th among coaches in Big Ten history. Also, he has 65 Big Ten wins, which ties Barry Alvaraz for 10th all-time…QB C.J. Beathard became the first Iowa quarterback to win his first career start in a road game since Jason Manson in 2006… Weisman’s 12-yard rush in the third quarter increased his career rushing total to 2,004 career yards. He finished the game with 76 yards on 24 carries. He now has 2,050 career rushing yards and 22 career rushing touchdowns. He is the seventh player in school history to surpass 2,000 career rushing yards and 20 career rushing touchdowns. The other six include Sedrick Shaw, Ladell Betts, Albert Young, Tavian Banks, Owen Gill, and Ronnie Harmon…The Hawkeyes finished the game with four sacks. LB Josey Jewell (1.0) and DE Nate Meier each recorded their first career sacks. Meier finished with 1.5 sacks. DL Louis Trinca-Pasat had 1.0 sack, and DL Carl Davis was credited with 0.5 sack. Iowa also finished the game with five tackles for loss…RB Jonathan Parker had a career long 47-yard kickoff return, and recorded his first career reception, including a career-long of 34 yards. He finished with two catches for 43 yards receiving…WR Andrew Stone made his first career appearance…WR Kevonte Martin-Manley caught a team-best five passes to raise his career total to 148. He is now No. 5 on Iowa’s all-time receptions list, trailing (Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, 173; Marvin McNutt, Jr., 170; Kevin Kasper, 157, and Kahlil Hill, 152). His 146th career reception was a 23-yard touchdown that gave Iowa a 17-10 lead. It was his first touchdown reception of the season, and 11th of his career.


Hawkeye Insider Top Stories