IOWA CITY, Ia. — Saturday’s Purdue-Iowa Big Ten Conference football game at Kinnick Stadium isn’t likely to produce ESPN highlight material. Combined, the teams have lost eight games in a row. Combined, they’re statistical also-rans, for the most part.
So what happens. . .
When Iowa Runs the Ball
Damon Bullock is on a roll after rushing for 190 yards the past two games, and he’s likely going to get a bulk of the carries Saturday. Mark Weisman is still hurt and isn’t expected back until at least Nov. 17 at Michigan, so it’s all-Bullock against a defense that allows 193.4 rushing yards a game. Opponents have 16 rushing touchdowns against the Boilermakers. ADVANTAGE: Iowa.
When Purdue runs the ball
That part of the offense is still unproven, to a certain extent. The Boilermakers have been outscored 106-40 during the first halves of Big Ten games, thus rendering the running attack mostly moot. Akeem Hunt, however, has scored on runs of 56 and 81 yards, and that’s why he averages 8.7 yards a carry. ADVANTAGE: Iowa
When Iowa passes
If Iowa doesn’t move the ball against a team that allows an average of 225.8 air yards a game, then it’s not going to happen in James Vandenberg’s senior season. Purdue opponents have 14 touchdown passes. The Boilermakers have 11 interceptions, a solid statistic. Iowa’s passing offense is 95th nationally with an average of 198.4 yards a game. There are just five teams in the nation with four touchdown passes or fewer – and the Hawkeyes are one of them. The others are Kansas (four), Southern Mississippi (three), Army (three), and New Mexico (two). ADVANTAGE: Purdue.
When Purdue Passes
Starter Robert Marve has completed 82 of 131 passes for 735 yards and six touchdowns in eight games. A solid group of receivers includes Antavian Edison, who has at least one catch in 30 consecutive games. The Boilermakers passed for 288 yards last Saturday against Penn State, but a lot of it was while trying to rally from a 34-3 third-quarter deficit. ADVANTAGE: Iowa.
When considering other stuff
Iowa has defeated Purdue six times in a row in games at Kinnick Stadium since a 27-16 loss in 1992. . . .Hawkeye place-kicker Mike Meyer gets an edge regardless of the opponent. ADVANTAGE: Iowa
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football