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SATURDAY'S FORECAST: LOTS OF SUNSHINE; BEATHARD TO START VS PURDUE

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Mystery solved?

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Ferentz was very coy about who would start at quarterback for Iowa against Purdue this weekend, but C.J. Beathard always seemed like the most logical choice -- especially after we found out that Jake Rudock was in fact injured against Pitt and that he's apparently recovering from a hip pointer, which generally involves a 7-10 day recovery period. Ferentz still hasn't made any official confirmation about the starter -- and probably won't until we see whether #15 or #16 trots out on to the field in West Lafayette tomorrow -- but according to Rivals.com, it's going to be Sunshine:

Again: not official, things could change, wait 'til tomorrow to be sure, etc.  But based on what we think we know -- Rudock has a hip pointer, those injuries typically take over a week to heal, there's no point in risking Rudock exacerbating that injury when Iowa has a bye next week -- it makes an awful lot of sense for C.J. to get his first start at Iowa.  And certainly his performance in the second half against Pitt last week was good enough to warrant more snaps, Rudock injury or not.

Beathard's entered the game in relief of a banged-up Rudock on three occasions (versus Wisconsin and LSU last year and Pitt this year) and also seen garbage time minutes against Western Michigan and Nebraska last year.  And there was that one bizarre series against Ball State.  But if this report is true, this will be the first game where it's Beathard's show from start to finish.  If you were drawing up an ideal first start on the road, you could hardly come up with a more favorable venue (James Vandenberg made his first road start against Ohio State in the Horseshoe and Jake Rudock made his first start away from Kinnick against Iowa State at Jack Trice; West Lafayette should be a walk in the park compared to those venues) or opponent (Purdue looks improved from a year ago, but they're still one of the weaker teams in the Big Ten).  It looks like it's Sunshine's time to, uh, shine -- let's see what he can do.