So, Hawkeye fans, maybe something positive did come out of Iowa’s 30-27 loss against Northern Illinois on Saturday.
Iowa is 0-1 and has lost seven straight dating to last season, but after just one game in 2013, there seems to be a growing consensus within Big Ten Conference football circles that the Hawkeyes have likely found their quarterback of this season and beyond.
Jake Rudock, a 6-foot-3 sophomore out of Weston, Fla., seems to have impressed writers at ESPN and the Big Ten Network, at least. He threw a costly interception in the fourth quarter, but got rave reviews on a debut that saw him complete 21-of-37 passes for 256 yards and a touchdown. He also ran in for a 6-yard touchdown, finishing with 20 rushing yards. Rudock showed off his arm strength with several passes downfield, including a toss that traveled well over 50 yards. That’s something we didn’t see much of last season with James Vandenberg under center.
On ESPN.com’s Big Ten blog, writers Adam Rittenberg and Brian Bennett say that “Iowa has something to build on with Rudock,” and went as far as saying this:
Despite a crunch-time interception, Iowa’s Rudock played with better rhythm in his first career start than veteran James Vandenberg did all of last season.
For what it’s worth, the same writers left Iowa out of their Big Ten bowl projections (Yes, they did bowl projections on Sept. 1).
But they also thought the Hawkeyes seemed more comfortable on offense:
The Hawkeyes are far from a juggernaut but eclipsed 300 yards in the first half against Northern Illinois and scored two touchdowns, more than they had in the first two games of last season. Now if only Greg Davis would get rid of the bubble screen …
On BTN.com, Tom Dienhart wrote that Hawkeye fans might be able to take a deep breath despite the opening loss.
Yes, he threw that killer pick at the end of regulation that set up Northern Illinois for the game-winning field goal. Still, Rudock played well in his first career game. … Things just may be OK in Iowa City.
Dienhart also named Rudock the No. 4 performer in the conference in Week One, and gave the Hawkeyes-Huskies tilt top billing on his “top game” of the week list. “Good back-and-forth and a crazy end,” he wrote of the matchup.
Your next chance to watch Rudock comes Saturday against Missouri State of the Football Championship Subdivision. Game time is 11 a.m. at Kinnick Stadium, and the game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football