After whatever James Vandenberg did last year, yes that was sarcasm, not a lot of us knew what to expect out of now starting quarterback, Jake Rudock. I just think at the beginning of this year everyone in Hawkeye country was happy to see a new quarterback under center.
Rudock has been pleasantly surprising as a first year starter and sophomore quarterback. He has matured game-by-game and you can honestly see him getting better not only as a quarterback, but as a decision maker as well.
I didn’t get a chance to see the game against Northern Illinois, but looking at the stat line, it looks like he handled his first game against a pretty good team fairly well.
I’m not even going to touch on the games against Missouri State, Iowa State, and Western Michigan because quite frankly, those just shouldn’t count.
Where I really saw Rudock start to mature was the game against the Ohio State Buckeyes. To go into a hostile place like that as a first year quarterback and perform the way Rudock did was incredible. You could tell he remained calm, he was poised, and Iowa did a good job hanging with the Buckeyes. Only problem is, the Buckeyes are just better than Iowa is. In that game Rudock was 19/34, passed for 245 yards, had 3 touchdown, and 1 interception.
After a couple of ‘meh’ games against Northwestern and Wisconsin, Rudock was able to finish out the year on a high note leading the Hawkeyes to 3 consecutive wins.
For the season, Rudock was solid. He finished the regular season completing 60% of his passes, he passed for 2,281 yards including 18 touchdown passes. Rudock wasn’t great, but Hawkeye fans really couldn’t ask for more from this youngster.
Rudock will have to prepare a little differently for his upcoming matchup against the LSU Tigers. The Tigers are a lot faster than any defense Rudock has seen thus far. It should be a challenge for Rudock, but I think he’s more than capable of leading the Hawkeyes to victory.
With two more years left under his belt I expect him to only get better. However, do you remember the last Hawkeye quarterback to lead the Hawkeyes to a victory over LSU in a bowl game as a sophomore? A guy by the name of Drew Tate. Just so happened that his sophomore year was the best of his career.
Here’s hoping the same doesn’t happen with Rudock.