The factors today are heavily focussed on Iowa's weaknesses and I feel like I'm saying the same things over and over again at this point. But for tomorrow's game, the only way Purdue is going to win is if Iowa let's all of its weakness rear their ugly heads.
The defense will be good. The special teams will be okay. The offense... Iowa will easily win tomorrow if the offense shows up and re-establishes its identity. Teams have loaded up against the run, and Iowa has struggled to put up points. I don't think it's going to take a lot of points. A few score will do...as long as they are TDs and not FGs. But also important is that the offense can hang on to the ball. The defense has been wearing out towards the end of games when the offense has been going 3-and-out repeatedly in the second half. Let's not give Purdue any hope towards the end of the game.
Purdue doesn't have a lot going for it right now, but has to be looking at their final 4 games (against Iowa, Penn State, Illinois and Indiana) and hoping maybe they can win a couple. I'm sure they are grasping for any sort of success to push forward and build. So Iowa has to shut that down right away and not let Purdue hang around.
I'm looking at you Iowa offense. I trust the defense will be able to contain Purdue's inept offense. But Purdue could build some early confidence if Iowa's offense isn't able to establish anything. Iowa has struggled to get the running game going against some of the B1G's better defenses. Purdue's defense is not one of the better defense, but do employ a 3-4 that Iowa had some trouble with last weekend.
Adjustments may have been over-emphasized by everyone, but Purdue isn't going to be deflated if Iowa only has a small lead going into halftime the way Iowa has struggled in the second half. Teams have been starting the second half with scoring drives against Iowa, and the Hawkeye offense has struggled. It may not be so much on adjustment and might be more just execution, but it has to change. If Iowa is able to drive down the field and score on its first possession of the second half, that could go a long ways in killing any sort of confidence or momentum Purdue has.
I'm becoming a broken record on this one. Iowa continues to struggle scoring in the redzone. Last week was an abysmal 0-4 on getting TDs. It is really the big thing that has kept Iowa's offense from having a better scoring average than last year.
On the other side of the ball, Purdue hasn't had a drive even reach the redzone in over a month. So, they might just be elated to get there. At the same time, as it is such a rare occurrence, I wouldn't be surprised if the Boilermakers are aggressive in the redzone and opt to go for it on 4th downs instead of settle for FGs.
The defense has been playing better and better lately and I expect this to continue. Purdue will be held in check, but will probably hit one long play that sets them up for a single score. The Hawkeye offense will finally get a little bit of the run game back that it had earlier in the year, but won't light up the score board.
Final Score: Iowa 17 - Purdue 7