West Lafayette, Ind. — A guilty conscience weighed on Iowa wide receiver Kevonte Martin-Manley.
His bobble of a Purdue punt set up the Boilermakers’ first touchdown Saturday. Fortunately, Jake Rudock helped him reach for redemption.
“Just that extra motivation to get the next play was what helped me out,” Martin-Manley said. “I had to make that one up, (or else) I probably would have been pinching myself even harder than I am now.”
Martin-Manley failed to make a fair catch on a windy day at Ross-Ade Stadium, while also trying to avoid a Purdue defender.
The ball was recovered at Iowa’s 35-yard line and Purdue reached the end zone six plays later, tying the score 7-7 with 5:44 left in the second quarter.
“It was one of those things where you say, ‘Hey, it happened. Don’t worry about it, now. We’ll fix it tomorrow,’” Rudock said of Martin-Manley’s miscue.
The Hawkeyes responded with 10-play, 67-yard drive.
Rudock failed to connect with Martin-Manley on a first-down pass to the end zone, but found him on third-and-7 from Purdue’s 22-yard line.
“I was just glad the ball was in the air,” Martin-Manley said, “and they gave me a chance to get it.”
Rudock’s throw zipped between two defenders.
“They were playing man-to-man,” Rudock said. “The second guy who came late was on our outside receiver.
“I couldn’t loft it up, because (Martin-Manley) was on the end line. I just had to get it in there, and he did a great job.”
It was a throw that might rip a hole in questions about Rudock’s arm strength.
“I was confident with it,” he said. “We all have an understanding that if I’m going to give you a chance on the ball, the receivers are going to do a great job of protecting it.”
Martin-Manley’s touchdown put Iowa ahead 14-7, and the Boilermakers never really recovered.
Hawkeye coach Kirk Ferentz praised Rudock, who grew up in the Miami area, for dealing with the elements.
“It was a very windy day, and that’s tricky both ways, into it and with it,” Ferentz said. “He just seems to handle whatever comes his way pretty adeptly.
“It was a really nice throw down there in that end zone.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football