Jake Rudock prepares for another hostile environment as Iowa gets ready to face another in a long list of talented linebackers in the Big Ten this season in Saturday’s game at Ohio State.
That is all part of today’s Hawkeye 10 @ 10, your daily dose of Hawkeye news and notes at 10 a.m. each weekday at Hawkmania.com.
Here is today’s Hawkeye 10@10:
1. Previous road games at Iowa State and Minnesota have prepared Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock for the reception he expects Iowa to receive Saturday at Ohio Stadium.
“It’s all part of the game,’’ Rudock said. “There isn’t usually a lot of love for the visiting team, but that’s part of the fun. You use it as motivation, us against the world, that type of thing. We’ve been through it before. We’ll be ready for it again.’’
2. The next in a long line of quality linebackers who will face Iowa this season, the play of Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier has impressed Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz.
“He’s just a guy that plays really, really well,’’ Ferentz said. “He’s protected. He does all the things good linebackers do. He’s got a great instinct, a great nose for the ball. When I use that word instinct, instinct is usually something guys develop, they don’t just have it. My guess is that he is probably a pretty good student of the game.’’
3. Ranked fourth by the Associated Press and third in the coaches poll, the Buckeyes are the highest rated opponent Iowa has faced since the 2008 season.
That year, third-rated Penn State visited Iowa in a game the Hawkeyes won 24-23.
4. The success that Iowa has had in stopping the rush is concerning to Ohio State coach Urban Meyer.
“It’s not easy winning on Saturday. We’ve been in here for two weeks trying to figure out how to run the ball against this defense,’’ Meyer said. “They are a top-10 in scoring defense and a top 10 or close to it in rushing defense. They have very good players and all that.’’
5. Iowa’s offensive line has allowed five sacks through six games, while the Buckeyes have frequently found their way to the quarterback.
Ohio State has recorded 16 sacks during its 6-0 start.
6. Ohio State has dominated this series, going 46-14-3 all-time against the Hawkeyes.
The Buckeyes have won 12 of the last 13 games between teams since Iowa earned its most-recent win in Columbus. That came in 1991 by a 16-9 score.
The Hawkeyes’ last win in the series came at Kinnick Stadium in 2004 by a 33-7 score. The teams have played just four times since and will not meet again after Saturday until Ohio State visits Iowa City in 2017.
7. True freshman Desmond King shares the fifth spot on Iowa’s tackle charts.
The cornerback from Detroit has 29 tackles and is second on the team with three pass break-ups, work that has pleased defensive coordinator Phil Parker.
“The one thing when he came into camp, he gave great effort and he loves to compete,’’ Parker said. “He doesn’t care who he is playing against, he just goes out and does what he does.’’
Parker expects continued growth as King becomes accustomed to seeing things at a faster pace as he gains experience.
“He’s got to build up his memory bank and make sure he can diagnose a play when it’s going on,’’ Parker said. “Still, I think he’s done a very good job for a freshman.’’
8. Defensive coordinator Phil Parker sees a pretty easy reason why Ohio State has averaged 46.8 points per game.
“Good players,’’ Parker said. “They’ve got some good players. Good quarterback, good running backs, good receivers. I think they’ve got a good system and they believe in it, but, I think the players help them finish things.’’
9. After getting burnt a fake punt against Michigan State, Iowa’s special teams received some extra attention during the bye week.
Saturday, the Hawkeyes will face a foe which has thrived in creating opportunities with its special teams.
Ohio State has blocked two punts this season and have snuffed eight kicks during his two seasons in Columbus.
10. The play of Iowa’s defensive front seven has impressed Ohio State running backs coach Stan Drayton.
“They are just rocking off the ball,’’ Drayton said. “They don’t have any indecision. There’s no hesitation in their first step. They are giving people a lot of looks, a lot of twists, a lot of movement, some gap exchange and things like that.’’