IOWA ELITE FOOTBALL

Iowa Quarterback C. J. Beathard is instrumental in Iowa’s win over Purdue

By Mackenzie Richardson
EFN Staff
Published: 11/22/2015

The Big Ten East division may not be as powerful as the West Division, which includes Top 15 programs Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State. The Big Ten East only has three teams with a winning record. Despite that, the Big Ten East may be where the Big Ten’s next shot at a playoff spot comes from, thanks to Iowa’s surprising dominance.

Much of the credit goes to Quarterback C.J. Beathard, a 6’2, 209-pound Junior from Franklin, Tennessee. He finished Iowa’s rout of Purdue with only 12 completions, but made up for that by throwing those completions for an average of 10 yards a throw. He compiled 213 yards and three touchdowns with no turnovers.

Iowa doesn’t throw the ball very much under head coach Kirk Ferentz, which is why six running backs recorded carries. Running back Jordan Canzeri carried the ball 13 times for 95 yards and a score, averaging seven yards per carry.

Iowa’s 11-0 record has clinched them the Big Ten West, but also a surprising shot at a playoff spot as well. The deciding factor could come down to the Big Ten Championship game, where they will face either Michigan State, Ohio State, or Michigan.

It’s interesting to see Iowa’s perfect season happen in the context of their small quarterback controversy during the off season. At the time, first string quarterback Jake Rudock was told he would be benched in favor of Beathard. Rudock then transferred to Michigan. Both moves seem to be reaping great rewards for both programs.

At this point Iowa has already acquired a spot in the Big Ten Championship game, but they still play for so much more. They are ranked #3 in the latest AP Poll, and one of a couple teams expected to make moves closer to the top four in Tuesday’s College Football Playoff poll.

Iowa can not afford to overlook Nebraska when they travel to Lincoln on Black Friday. Nebraska has a strong offense that was able to defeat even Michigan State, who is looking to take the East’s spot in the Big Ten Championship game. Iowa is a methodical team that can take advantage of Nebraska’s poor defense, but will need to make sure their own is ready.

As for Beathard, he played high school football at Battle Ground Academy, where he earned first team all-state honors as a senior. He was named first team all-region and region MVP as a junior and senior. He also led the state of Tennessee in passing yards, completions and touchdowns as a junior and senior. He passed for 2,148 yards and 23 touchdowns as a senior, according to hawkeyesports.com

Iowa travels to Lincoln to take on the Huskers on Black Friday at 3:30 p.m.