Post-game Notebook: Gaul sees action in Iowa's win over Indiana


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Tommy Gaul stood inside the media room after Iowa’s 45-29 win over Indiana on Oct. 11 surrounded by reporters and cameras. Though he is a fifth-year senior, being interviewed after a game was a new experience for him. One reporter jokingly asked, “Who are you?”

Gaul smiled. He knew.

After Iowa’s starting right guard Jordan Walsh went down with an ankle injury on the second play of the game, Gaul was called on to help fill the void. Starting center Austin Blythe moved over to Walsh’s spot, and Gaul stepped in at center.

“It was a lot of fun,” Gaul said. “Coach called my name, next man in; I tried to do my best.”

Gaul played the rest of the game, helping Iowa garner 426 yards of offense. It was his first opportunity at meaningful playing time — throughout his career, the Des Moines native had only seen action in three games.

Head coach Kirk Ferentz called it another “next-man in” story. He praised Gaul for his character, called him a “tremendous young guy,” and said he played well against Indiana.

“He could run for office,” Ferentz said. “Everybody loves him here. … He’s been practicing well. And Jordan came out early, so we just shifted Austin out and put Tommy in there. He did a really nice job.”

Ferentz said Walsh’s injury wasn’t anything too serious, adding that he will know more about it in the coming days.

King gets his long-awaited interception

On Indiana’s sixth play from scrimmage, starting quarterback Nate Sudfeld lofted a pass toward receiver Dominique Booth. Desmond King made a jump on the pass, corralled it in for his first-career interception, and sprinted 35 yards for a touchdown.

“[Defensive coordinator Phil Parker] was just saying read the quarterback, three-step, watch the No. 1 receiver sit, then go,” King said. “I was just praying that he didn’t throw it, but then he threw it, and I was like, yep, this is my chance to take it.”

It was the seventh-straight time in as many seasons that Iowa returned an interception for a touchdown. Under Ferentz, the Hawkeyes have recorded a pick-6 in 12 of his 16 seasons as coach.

Ferentz called King’s pick-6 a good play and noted that King has shown the ability to make such plays in practice.

“Ironically, the other day at practice, I looked across the field, saw him catch one with his right hand,” Ferentz said. “I teased him, and I said, ‘Showboating or what?’ He said no, the receiver had his left hand pinned down so he snatched it with his right hand.”

Rudock dodges QB battle talk

Entering this weekend’s game, much of the conversation around the team centered on the quarterbacks. Many said Iowa had a quarterback controversy between Jake Rudock and C.J. Beathard.

For all the talk of possibly using both on offense, Rudock played the most in Iowa’s win over Indiana. He completed 19-of-27 passes for 210 yards and two touchdowns, while Beathard went 2-for-5 for just 9 yards.

After the game, both quarterbacks were peppered with questions about their performances and how Iowa should use them both moving forward. For the most part, both tried their hardest to dodge all questions.

“I think, every day, you’re trying to prove something,” Rudock said. “You need to show why you’re out there. And you guys are going to say what you’re going to say, but I was just going out there to help the team win. That was the most important thing.”

Follow @codygoodwin on Twitter for updates, news, and analysis about the Iowa football team.

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