As the Iowa Hawkeyes prepare for this year’s TaxSlayer Bowl, head coach Kirk Ferentz used it as an opportunity to create competition at multiple positions. Quarterback wasn’t excluded.
“We sit here at 7-5 right now, Ferentz told 247Sports.com’s Andrew Kulha Monday. “I can’t imagine there’s too much that we won’t evaluate or too much that’s not open for grabs. And it’s been that way all season. It will be that way certainly over the next month,” Ferentz said. “Everybody has to earn their spot in their position, their playing time, and I don’t see that changing. But the thing that has changed now we’ve got three plus weeks and a lot more practices than you would have in a game week to make some evaluations.”
Ferentz is apparently leaning toward starting sophomore C.J. Beathard over junior Jake Rudock at quarterback, according to 1490 KXLQ’s Marty Tirrell:
CJ Beathard will start at QB for Iowa Hawkeyes in Tax Slayer Bowl #Hawkeyes Jake Rudock will also see playing time –
— Marty Tirrell (@martytirrell) December 11, 2014
If Ferentz already decided to start Beathard, he isn’t revealing his decision.
Rudock’s struggles in the Hawkeyes’ 37-34 overtime loss to the Nebraska Cornhuskers opened the door for Beathard to potentially start. Rudock was 19-of 38 passing for 230 yards, a touchdown and an opening-drive interception.
Both quarterbacks received plenty of time behind center this season. Rudock was the primary starter and played in 11 games, while Beathard was used in eight games with one start in a 24-10 victory over the Purdue Boilermakers.
If Beathard eventually wins the job for the bowl game, he’ll enter spring practice as the favorite to be named Iowa’s starting quarterback next season.