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Rudock ready to go for Outback Bowl, says knees are improving

[ 0 ] December 23, 2013 |

IOWA CITY, Ia. –  Jake Rudock is good to go.

Iowa’s sophomore quarterback was hobbled by aching knees as the regular season came to a close, but Rudock declared himself fit Monday for the Jan. 1 Outback Bowl against Louisiana State.

Is he 100 percent?

“I always hate the percentage question,” Rudock said, “but I feel good.

“I feel better than I have.”

It’s the LSU quarterback who is more of a concern for the Hawkeyes.

Anthony Jennings, a freshman, will start for the Tigers in place of senior Zach Mettenberger, who is out with a torn ACL.

“It wouldn’t be a total shock if we see a little bit more diversity in their attack,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said, “from what they had before.”

Jennings, who stands 6-foot-2, 211 pounds, presents a dual threat. He directed a game-winning touchdown drive against Arkansas but has otherwise played sparingly.

“We don’t have a lot of film on him,” Ferentz said, “but the film we do have on him is impressive. All we can really do is judge that last possession against Arkansas.”

During practices, Hawkeye freshman Nic Shimonek plays the role of Jennings for the scout-team offense.

“He doesn’t quite have the foot speed maybe that we’re expecting to see,” Ferentz said.

The most telling item on Jennings’ early resume might be earning the No. 2 spot shortly after arriving in Baton Rouge, La.

“That does say something, because they’ve got a lot of good players,” Ferentz said. “To be the next guy in line tells you the kind of potential he must have.”

It also puts Iowa in a tough spot preparation-wise. Mettenberger is an accurate passer, but less likely to scramble.

“I know he’s a very good athlete,” Ferentz said of Jennings. “So I imagine we may see some runs, as well as throws.”

“I always hate the percentage question,” Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock said Monday when asked about the condition of his aching knees, “but I feel good. I feel better than I have.” (Register file photo)

“I always hate the percentage question,” Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock said Monday when asked about the condition of his aching knees, “but I feel good. I feel better than I have.” (Register file photo)

Rudock, meanwhile, was an unknown commodity before this season. He went on to complete 60.2 percent of his passes for 2,281 yards, 18 touchdowns and was nimble enough to run for 223 yards and five touchdowns.

Rudock was unable to finish a 38-17 win at Nebraska, however, after suffering a knee injury.

“It was one of those weird ones, where it was hurting pretty bad,” he said. “I’d try to get back in there if I could, but at the time it probably wasn’t the best call.”

After taking time to recuperate, Rudock is ready for a return to his home state.

He grew up in Weston, Fla., which is less than a 4-hour drive from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

“We could take it easier,” Rudock said of the past few weeks. “We didn’t have to rush back into it too quick.

“Having some time off definitely helps.”

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Andrew Logue: Andrew has been with the Des Moines Register for 19 years, covering everything from preps to Hawkeye and Cyclone sports, as well as the Drake Relays. View author profile.

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