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Hawkeyes react to Rudock being named starting QB

BY RYAN PROBASCO | AUGUST 28, 2013 5:00 AM

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The much anticipated quarterback debate was finally settled this week as redshirt sophomore Jake Rudock was named the starter for Iowa’s opening matchup against Northern Illinois.

Rudock has yet to take a snap as a college football player, but that hasn’t stopped teammates from exuding supreme confidence in the Weston, Fla., natives ability behind center.

“He’s a smart, detail oriented guy,” halfback Mark Weisman said about Rudock. “He’s very focused, very even-keeled, too. That’s really what you want to be as a quarterback.”  

The Iowa defense, which has lined up against Rudock all off-season, has seen serious progression from the quarterback lately and believes their teammates on offense have the ability to prove doubters wrong this season.

“I’m confident in Jake,” junior defensive tackle Carl Davis said. “This camp, [the offense] did some great things and blew my mind with some of the plays they ran. They’re going to be a nice group, I think.”

Team’s urgency evident as new season arrives

With the opening game of the 2013 campaign rapidly approaching, several players and coaches have expressed the importance of urgency.

Iowa lost six games in a row to conclude 2012’s nightmare of a season. Having not won a game after Oct. 13, when they defeated Michigan State in double overtime, Hawkeye players say they crave to take the field again.

“We’re hungry, we’ve been working our tails off in camp the whole summer,” cornerback Jordan Lomax said. “We’re ready and eager to face another opponent … We don’t dwell on last season, it’s all about this upcoming season and what we can do to better ourselves.”

Coming off a shoulder injury that derailed his second season as a Hawkeye, Lomax said he is as eager as anyone to kick off the 2013 season.

“I’ve probably had this game circled since I found out I wasn’t going to be able to play last year,” the sophomore said. “It’s going to be a tremendous experience Saturday. I can’t wait to run out there with my teammates on my side in Kinnick and my family in the stands.”

Heat to be a factor on Saturday

With temperatures expected to be in the mid-90s this weekend, endurance and conditioning will ultimately play a large role in the outcome of Saturday’s game.

The Hawkeyes have the looming conditions in mind and are putting an emphasis on the weather in the preparation for Saturday.

“I’m not so much worried about conditioning as I am in our ability to recover,” senior linebacker James Morris said. “Cramping is going to be an issue when people are losing a lot of fluids. And with the field turf we have, it’s much hotter on the field than it is if you were to just stand on grass or on concrete.

“You just try to hydrate and plan throughout the week and during the game.”

Head coach Kirk Ferentz recognized the heat as being a large factor this weekend but won’t view it as an excuse if his squad cannot handle the inflated temperatures, seeing as both teams will have to deal with it.

“Our guys have trained in heat, and they’ve played in heat,” Ferentz said. “It’s a factor, but it’s a little bit like rain or snow.  It’s going to be equal for us as it is for them.  It’s just one of those things you deal with.”


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