Ferentz: Quarterback Situation is Day-to-Day

Sept. 23, 2014

Sept. 23, 2014

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Saturday’s Big Ten Conference football opener at Purdue marks the final test for the University of Iowa in its season-opening five-game block. The Hawkeyes have a bye Oct. 4.


“We’ve got 5-2-5 (five games, bye, two games, bye, five games), so our focus has been on the first five, and we’re running the race as well as we can,” UI head coach Kirk Ferentz said Tuesday at his weekly news conference inside the Hayden Fry Football Complex.

“We’ve had some highs and lows, but we haven’t done things as consistently the way we want. We’ve got a lot of growth here to still make, and that’s exciting because we can get a lot better.”

Saturday’s game begins at 11:01 a.m. (CT) from Ross-Ade Stadium. The Hawkeyes have won three of the last four meetings in the series, including a 38-14 victory in West Lafayette, Indiana, last season.

The majority of Tuesday’s news conference centered around the quarterback position where Ferentz fielded 18 questions about the status of junior starter Jake Rudock and back-up sophomore C.J. Beathard.

“We’ll rally whoever is out there. We’re not going to put Jake out there if he’s not able to play the way he has to. C.J. will be ready to go if that’s the way it turns out.”
UI head coach Kirk Ferentz

Rudock is listed as day-to-day after suffering an injury, which kept him from playing in the second half in Iowa’s 24-20 victory at Pittsburgh. Ferentz says the injury is in soft tissue, which is positive.

“We’ll play it day-by day and see what it looks like,” said Ferentz. “We’ll move him around (today in practice), see how he feels and go from there. The good news is he feels better this morning than he did yesterday, and getting the test results back was a real positive.

“We’ll rally whoever is out there. We’re not going to put Jake out there if he’s not able to play the way he has to. C.J. will be ready to go if that’s the way it turns out.”

In Rudock’s absence at Pittsburgh, Beathard led the Hawkeyes from a 10-point halftime deficit, completing 7-of-8 passes for 98 yards. Iowa scored 17 second-half points, including the go-ahead touchdown with 6:56 remaining.

Whether it’s Rudock or Beathard under center, Ferentz is comfortable with either quarterback.

“I said it Saturday, and I really mean this, we have two guys we have a lot of confidence in,” he said. “The good news is we’re not going way into the bullpen to come up with something.”

Purdue brings a 2-2 record into Saturday’s matchup after downing Southern Illinois, 35-13, on Sept. 20. The Boilermakers’ opened the year with a 43-34 win over Western Michigan before dropping consecutive games to Central Michigan (38-17) and No. 11 Notre Dame (30-14).

Ferentz says Purdue will be a big challenge in head coach Darrell Hazell’s second season.

“They’ve got a team that looks a lot more comfortable now,” he said. “The quarterback is a second-year player, so he’s got experience. They’re improved in every facet. We’ll have our work cut out on all three levels.”

Saturday’s game will be televised live on BTN with Scott Graham, Stanley Johnson, and Evan Fitzgerald calling the action.

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