After an historic win in week six against #4 Penn State, the #2 Iowa Hawkeyes are back in Kinnick Stadium this week looking to avoid a letdown game. That may be a tall task as Iowa plays host to the Purdue Boilermakers and head coach Jeff Brohm, who is 3-1 against Iowa in his time in West Lafeyette.
Despite the potential for a trap game here, Vegas likes the Hawkeyes. Iowa opened the week as 11-point favorites in the DraftKings Sports Book with an over/under set at 43 total points. That line has drifted a bit to Iowa -11.5 while the O/U remains at 43. There is a bit of disparity if you hop to other books as you can see below.
Here at The Pants, we’re largely on the Hawks, but they didn’t build those shiny buildings in the desert out of thin air. Vegas has done well to split our staff on whether Iowa will actually cover the spread. On the whole, we’re saying no with our average score prediction at Iowa 27, Purdue 20. That puts us pretty firmly on the over this week and shows little regard for Purdue’s top-10 scoring defense.
Here’s a look at our individual predictions on this week’s matchup.
This one has all the makings of a letdown game for the Hawkeyes. Iowa has been playing well through half of a season and now sits in a position to put together a truly special season. But expectations are mounting and that’s prime time for a letdown. Compounding that is Purdue under Jeff Brohm seemingly having Iowa’s number.
This crop of Boilermakers is solid on defense - solid enough to scare Hawkeye fans about Iowa’s offensive production. But they’ve struggled a bit against the run. Those struggles and a rash of injuries, particularly in the secondary and the backfield, should be enough to offset the Jeff Brohm/David Bell effect.
Iowa 24, Purdue 20
Well, well, well, Purdue. We meet again. If you recall, I predicted for the Hawks to beat you last year. We outplayed you. Other than that whole David Superman Bell thing; he’s amazing. A couple fumbles cost us the game. Anyway, the week after Purdue was Northwestern. I again picked the Hawks. We lost. I have not picked Iowa to win since. I will pick against us all the way to the Natty!!! For this week, David Bell gets 4 TD’s and Iowa is flat. All of the enthusiasm from last week comes crashing down on us.
Purdue 31 - Iowa 27
It is reasonable to look at Iowa’s matchup against Purdue and see a textbook trap game. The Hawkeyes are at risk of a letdown after an emotional win over Penn State, Purdue is well-rested coming off a bye week, Iowa is playing without one of its top corners in Riley Moss, and Purdue has beaten Iowa in three out of the last four meetings. Add in David Bell’s absurd career production against the Hawkeyes and there are plenty of reasons to fear a potential upset.
Still, the Hawkeyes have more than enough talent to take care of business in this matchup. The Boilermakers should struggle to get any production on the ground, and Iowa’s ability to harass opposing quarterbacks and force turnovers extends far beyond Moss. Bell might get his (Purdue has enough weapons that Iowa cannot afford to bracket him on every passing play), but Iowa will get enough production on both sides of the ball to pull away in the 2nd half.
Iowa 28, Purdue 17
Purdue is injured and unbalanced but still have Jeff Brohm & David Bell. They will do enough to make Kinnick Stadium a little tight after being absolutely electric this past week against Penn State.
But Iowa is able to get enough in the run game going and connect on a couple deep shots to make the game feel not as close as the final score ends up.
Iowa 31, Purdue 23
I know I’ve used past history when making my predictions on here all season long, and we’re finally at a point where Iowa’s faced a coach that has thoroughly put this Hawkeye coaching staff in his pocket more often than not.
But not this year!
Iowa 20, Purdue 10
Purdue....the ever standing thorn in the Hawkeyes side. Even last year when their head coach is not in the stadium they STILL beat Iowa. David Bell is back looking for another massive game and George Karlaftis is as good as any defensive player in the B1G. All of the makings of another disappointing loss to an inferior Boilermaker team. But not this year!
Purdue has injuries and Brohm is making strange decisions with his starting quarterback. This Iowa team is on a mission and single minded to win each battle game-by-game. It may be close early, but Iowa wears them out over the course of 4 quarters.
Iowa 29, Purdue 16
So there you have it. Bartt still hates Iowa and doesn’t believe we’re any good (/sarcasm font), but the rest of us are in on the Hawkeyes this week despite the scar tissue from Purdue.
What about you, Hawkeye fans? How do you see this one playing out in Kinnick?