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Iowa Runs Over/Around/Through Purdue 49-35 (10/15/16)
So much to write. So much math when it comes to the final statistics in this game. Purdue likes to use train analogies - like AMTRAK for its version of the Wildcat - like Polar Express for another gimmicky offensive formation with two offensive linemen split out wide. But today the Boilermakers were no match for the Hawkeyes freight train coming down the tracks in West Lafayette. It was Iowa’s ninth straight road win - a school record - and eight of those have come against Big Ten opponents.
Iowa scored on five of its first six possessions in the First Half. The game was essentially over after the First Quarter when Iowa led 21-0. If there was much doubt then, the Hawkeyes upped that lead to 35-7 at Halftime. It was 42-14 after three periods. Iowa began sitting most of its starters early in the Fourth Quarter. Then strange things happened, and we learned that a desperate bunch of Purdue starters on offense are apparently better than Iowa’s backups on defense. Purdue closed to within two touchdowns - 42-28 with 5:36 left in the game.
Iowa Head Coach Kirk Ferentz was forced to bring his starters back in on both sides of the ball to finally secure the victory. That finally happened when Defensive Back Desmond King had a pick-six off of Purdue Quarterback David Blough with 1:44 remaining. It was King’s first interception of the season and seemed a fitting way for this game to a conclusion.
The two teams combined for more than 1000 yards of total offense. Perhaps the most telling stat, however, was Iowa’s 365 rushing yards compared to just 46 for Purdue. As the old adage goes, if you can’t run the ball and can’t stop the run you don’t have a winning formula for victory. Iowa has been inconsistent if not shaky this season in both of those respects - but not today.
Hawkeyes Running Back Akrum Wadley finished with 170 yards on the ground, averaging a whopping 12.1 yards per carry, including a 75 yard TD. LeShun Daniels added 156 rushing yards and two touchdowns, netting 6.5 yards per carry. Purdue’s top two rushers coming into this game combined to run for just 42 yards. Iowa Quarterback C.J. Beathard seemed to regain some of his 2015 form, hitting 10-17 passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns - he finished with a 166.8 rating.
While most of the Boilermakers offensive stats came when the game appeared well out of reach and against Iowa’s reserves, they clearly showed they would not quit. Purdue also played this game without its best wide receiver and its two best defenders - all out with injuries. The Boilermakers have now surrendered
Iowa’s Ron Coluzzi continued to play exceptionally well - both punting and kickoffs. Field position was a significant part of the Hawkeyes offensive success in their First Half splurge.
Iowa (5-2, 3-1) returns to Kinnick Stadium next Saturday to face Wisconsin in yet another crucial Big Ten West showdown. The Hawkeyes have already played three conference road games. Three of their next five are in Iowa City but against currently top-ten ranked teams in the Badgers, Michigan, and Nebraska. Iowa has road games at Illinois and at Penn State. Purdue (3-3, 1-2) plays at Nebraska next week.
Links to the Pre-and-Post-Game Notes and Stats, Season Stats, Ferentz Presser transcripts, and B1G Notes are on the left side of this page.
You can also access additional stories, stats, information, and links at HawkeyesMic.Medium.com.