CHICAGO — Who is the key to Iowa’s success?
For ESPN analyst Chris Spielman, the answer was easy: “It’s always the quarterback.”
“From high school to the NFL, if you don’t have a quarterback, you don’t have a chance,” Spielman said Monday during the Big Ten meetings. “That’s just the way it is. It’s how football has evolved.”
The Hawkeyes return Jake Rudock, who emerged as a starter last season, completing 59 percent of his passes for 2,383 yards, 18 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
“They have their quarterback back,” Spielman said. “And they have a really talented offensive line. If they get back to pounding the football, they’ll be good. If they don’t get consistency from the quarterback, then they’re going to be average.”
Spielman likes what he’s seen from Rudock so far.
“I thought he was good,” Spielman said. “I think there is room for improvement, but I know he’s a hard worker and he has talent. You need talent around him to help him improve.”