IOWA CITY, Iowa - Through two games, Jake Rudock appears the calm, cool and collected type Iowa hoped it was getting when it recruited him out of South Florida. They're valuable traits for the pressure-packed quarterback position.
Rudock's first two college starts occurred in the friendly confines of Kinnick Stadium. He made mistakes but they weren't a result of being rattled.
Saturday brings along a new challenge. Rudock leads the Hawkeyes into Jack Trice Stadium to play rival Iowa State (5 p.m., Fox Sports 1).
"I'd imagine it will be like my first year here (2011)," Rudock said. "They're going to be crazy. The fans are really good for them over there. It will be a lot of fun."
Rudock traveled to Ames as a true freshman two years ago. It was not fun for the Hawkeyes, who fell, 44-41, in triple overtime with quarterback James Vandenberg making his first, and only, road start in the rivalry.
"This is the first time (Rudock will) be on the road, first time our team's been on the road, so it's going to be a new experience," said Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz, who is 2-5 at Iowa State. "This is not an easy environment by any means to walk into. So it will be another degree of difficulty from the challenge standpoint."
Jake Christensen was the last Iowa signal caller to make his first career road start against the Cyclones. The Hawkeyes fell, 15-13, in that Sept. 15, 2007 contest.
Ricky Stanzi succeeded in his lone start at Trice. Iowa rolled to a 35-3 win in '09. Nathan Chandler was the other Hawkeye quarterback to win in Ames during the Ferentz Era, a 40-21 triumph in '03.
"It's going to be hostile going in there," Ferentz said. "It always is. It's a noisy, loud environment. You know, they do a good job of pressing and pushing the envelope with noise and all that kind of stuff right up to the snap. So it makes it tougher on offense. It's just something you have to do."
Iowa will pump noise into practice this week in hopes of preparing Rudock and his teammates for Saturday's environment. The coach and the quarterback agree that it's impossible to simulate the situation, however.
"We can't fully recreate it, but we do a good job trying," Rudock said.
INJURY REPORT: Iowa played without starting cornerback Jordan Lomax (hamstring) last week and his status for Saturday appears up in the air.
"We'll probably know more by Thursday," Ferentz said. "He's scheduled to practice some (Tuesday); not the entire practice, but scheduled to go some. (He) kind of leveled off last week, which we were hoping to see improvement, and there really wasn't any until like Thursday.
"So it was kind of late in the week that week. But we expect him to practice partial (Tuesday) and the hopefully the whole thing tomorrow unless he goes backwards."
Reserve cornerback Maurice Fleming (leg) is hoping to see his first action of the season at ISU.
"I thought he was close (for Missouri State))," Ferentz said. "He dressed last week, but he never got to full speed, so I'm hoping so."
Last week, the coach said running back Michael Malloy would be out at least another few weeks while "working his way through a medical situation." Tuesday, Ferentz was asked if the sophomore from Sioux City "was still around."
"Yeah, we'll keep you updated there," Ferentz said.
RECRUITING REPERCUSSION: Ferentz was asked if winning this game helps with in-state recruiting.
"I know this, there is nothing about winning that hurts that I've found so far," the coach said. "When you win, it's good. So be it recruiting, how you feel, all that stuff, it's just a good thing. Then losing tends to go the other way."
Ferentz said he couldn't cite an example of a prospect choosing a school based on the outcome of this game but he was sure that it had happened.
With the 5 p.m. kickoff for ISU, Ferentz said his staff will step out of their comfort zone and scout high school games this Friday night.
"Yeah, we'll be out several places only because we're not going to be
with the team Friday night," the coach said. "We'll shift our meetings to Saturday. Otherwise I'm not comfortable with and I've been places here in the '80s where we used to do a lot of recruiting on Friday nights even when the team was together,
but I've never been comfortable with the coaches not being around the players if we're having an organized team activity."