Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz says sophomore quarterback Jake Rudock will be back in the lineup on Saturday when the Hawkeyes visit Purdue. Rudock suffered a knee sprain in the third quarter of last weekend’s loss to Wisconsin. He says a couple guys are sore, but the news on the injuries has been better than he thought it would be.
Ferentz says the Hawkeyes need better production in the red zone. They were held without a touchdown against Wisconsin, and he says if one of the times they settled for a field goal they would have gotten a touchdown, it would have made a big difference.
A better ground game will help Iowa be more productive in the red zone. The run game has tailed off over the last month. “I was concerned Saturday because we did not have the productivity we wanted to have — but they had a lot to do with that — they are a good football team, so every week is a different challenge,” Ferentz says.
And a better run game will also help them be more productive on third down as he says they are much better if they are balanced offensively and able to dictate to the defense what they are able to do. Iowa visits a Purdue team that is 1-7 overall and 0-4 in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes become bowl eligible with a win.
“Really all that we are worried about is winning this week — which would be six — and to become bowl eligible is certainly a plus compared to last year,” Ferentz says.
Purdue has been outscored 100-7 in its last two home games, including a 54-0 thrashing at the hands of Ohio State last weekend. First year coach Darrell Hazell who remains confident in the future of the program despite their struggles. Purdue is using a true freshman at quarterback and Hazell says Danny Ettling has been learning in some tough circumstances.