Iowa looks to bounce back from a humbling defeat when it hosts Purdue on Saturday in a Big Ten clash. The Hawkeyes were held to 66 total yards as they suffered a 38-14 setback to fourth-ranked Wisconsin after racking up 55 points in the upset win over No. 8 Ohio State the previous week, and they hope to get their offense back on track by toppling the Boilermakers for the fifth straight time.
“We took a step backwards and part of that was us and part of that was the competition,” Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz admitted to reporters. “We played good competition the week before too but we just didn’t have it on Saturday.” Purdue must win its final two games to become bowl eligible after dropping a 23-13 decision to Northwestern. The Boilermakers have lost four of their last five games, including three straight on the road, after a promising 3-2 start and hope to turn their fortunes around by knocking off the Hawkeyes for the first time since a 27-24 victory on Nov. 10, 2012. “Everybody has a dream of playing at the highest level but you’ve got to give your best performance every time you step on the field,” Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm told reporters. “I think it’s important that our guys against a very good football team come ready to play.”
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network. LINE: Iowa - 7.5
ABOUT PURDUE (4-6, 2-5 Big Ten): Sophomore quarterback Elijah Sindelar set new career highs in completions, attempts and passing yards as he finished 37-of-60 for 376 yards and two touchdowns in the loss to Northwestern. Jared Sparks had an afternoon to remember as he caught a personal-best 11 passes for 130 yards while Anthony Mahoungou and Jarrett Burgess each had a touchdown reception against the Wildcats. Linebacker T.J. McCollum led the way with 10 tackles, including 1 1/2 for loss, and a sack after missing the previous four games with an ankle injury.
ABOUT IOWA (6-4, 3-4 Big Ten): Nate Stanley was limited to 41 yards on 8-of-24 passing against Wisconsin after throwing five touchdown passes in the win over Ohio State on Nov. 4. Defensive back Josh Jackson was named the Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week after taking back two interceptions for touchdowns to go along with three tackles and a forced fumble in the loss to the Badgers. Safety Amani Hooker - who has registered 44 tackles ad two interceptions, including a pick six - is likely to miss his second consecutive game with a bruised knee.
1. Iowa has won six of the last seven meetings with Purdue.
2. The Boilermakers have held three straight opponents to under 100 yards rushing.
3. Jackson has five interceptions in his last two games.
PREDICTION: Iowa 27, Purdue 20