Live from West Lafayette: Beathard gets the call at Purdue

Rick Brown

It's Beathard...

C.J. Beathard was told Thursday that he would make his first career start today.

C.J. Beathard directs traffic during Iowa's 24-20 win at Pitt last week.

Rudock status

: Jake Rudock is still not 100 percent with hip pointer, but is available is needed.

Not making trip: Wide receiver/punt returner Matt VandeBerg, running back Damon Bullock. Running back Akrum Wadley was fielding kickoffs in warmups and Derrick Mitchell, Jr., was fielding punts. Linebacker Chad Gilson, injured all year, is in uniform.

Live from the press box...

It's a beautiful day at Ross-Ade Stadium. Little wind so far. Temps expected to reach 81 degrees.

Meanwhile, Purdue Animal Sciences department is selling thanks.

Iowa's biggest advantage today is…

The point of attack. The Hawkeyes wore down Pittsburgh's big offensive and defensive lines in the second half last week, opening the door for a 24-20 comeback victory. I look for the same thing to happen to Purdue.

What could be its undoing? Not being ready to play mentally. With this being the Big Ten opener, and a bye week coming up, it's hard to believe that Iowa won't be ready to play today.

Who should we be talking about but aren't? Iowa punter Dillon Kidd is coming off his best game at Pittsburgh. Between Kidd's improvement and placekicker Marshall Koehn's ability to boot the ball for touchbacks (he leads the nation in touchback percentage at .646), field position has improved from a season ago. Iowa's special teams will be tested by Purdue punt returner Frankie Williams (20.2 average) and kickoff return ace Rakeem Mostert (27.2 average).

Final prediction: Iowa has its most productive day on the ground and opens Big Ten play with a 35-13 victory at Ross-Ade Stadium.