Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz says it is still a three horse race for the job of starting quarterback as the Hawkeyes get set for a new season. Jake Rudock, C.J. Beathard and Cody Sokol have been battling for the job since the start of spring practice.

“Guys are really feeling their way right now and that’s what you’d expect. It was like that at the start of spring as well,” Ferentz says. He says he hopes to know more in a week about how the race is shaping up.

Ferentz says all three have performed well during the opening week of practice and all three are capable of throwing the ball well. He says they each have a different personality, and they all work well with their teammates.

Ferentz says the Hawks are anxious to erase the memories of last year’s 4-8 record. “I can’t imagine anybody who is happy about last year, fans, anybody who is involved with the team…that’s what happened and the only thing you can do is to try and do something about it, and that is where our focus has been,” Ferentz says.

An experienced offensive line should help Iowa run the ball more effectively. The Hawkeyes averaged 123 yards per game on the ground last season. That ranked last in the Big Ten. Ferentz says they “have the makings of having a good line,” but they need to keep developing and getting better if they are going to be good.

Though still young, the defensive line has additional depth this season. They only have one senior, but Ferentz says they are more experienced than they were last year and need to show that on a consistent basis.

Iowa offensive coordinator Greg Davis says if they need to play more than one quarterback in a game to decide on a starter they will. “In a perfect world you’d like it to be named and you go with it and that’s what it is. But at the same time…since you don’t tackle those guys..some of those things you don’t know until you play,”Davis says.

Rudock has the edge in terms of experience. He was James Vandenbergs backup last season and Davis says that helps him know the calls and terms and the others will have to catch up on that, but he says all three can run and that is important.

Iowa opens August 31st at home against Northern Illinois.