The Iowa Hawkeyes got things back on track last week after losing three straight games in the month of October. Iowa closed out the month with their best offensive performance of the season as they hit season highs in both total offense and scoring output.
Hawkeye fans have met that upside with some skepticism given Iowa’s opponent in week nine was one of the worst defenses they’ll face all season. The good news for Hawkeye fans is all four of the team’s losses have come at the hands of top-10 scoring defenses nationally and this week’s opponent is decidedly not in the top-10.
The Purdue Boilermakers come into the week giving up 25.5 points per game, just three points less than the Northwestern Wildcats of a week ago, and ranking 65th nationally. That would seem to bode well for an Iowa offense that has struggled to get much going on the season.
However, Purdue and head coach Jeff Brohm have been one of the few teams to have Phil Parker’s number over the years. The Boilermakers come into the week averaging just under 33 points per game, which is the third most among Hawkeye opponents this season (with the two ahead of Purdue, Michigan and Ohio State, both emerging victorious over Iowa).
The Hawkeyes will clearly need to put up more than their season average of 16.4 points this week (that’s 125th nationally with only Colorado and Georgia Tech averaging fewer points among power five programs), but just how many more points it will take to take down our most hated rival remains to be seen. The Boilers come in to the week fresh off a bye. That was much needed with several players being banged up.
Head coach Jeff Brohm addressed the media on Monday and indicated there are still major concerns about the Boilermaker secondary.
Brohm: "Concerns" with secondary. Have had to change some things and try some other possibilities. Cory Trice and Jamari Brown still haven't practiced; LEO Kydran Jenkins will be game-time decision.— Tom Dienhart (@TomDienhart1) October 31, 2022
Purdue is also expected to be without running back King Doerue.
On the Iowa side of the ball, linebacker Jestin Jacobs remains out. Kirk Ferentz is set to address the media on Tuesday, but Monday’s depth chart again showed no Terry Roberts in the Iowa secondary.
Here’s an early look at what you need to know about this week’s matchup.
Date: Saturday, November 5th
Time: 11:00 am CT
Matchup: Iowa Hawkeyes (4-4, 2-3) at Purdue Boilermakers (5-3, 3-2)
Location: Ross-Ade Stadium - West Lafeyette, IN
Preliminary Weather Forecast: mostly sunny with temps in the upper-50s, 5% chance of rain
DraftKings Opening Line: Purdue -3.5, O/U 41.5
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
The Hawkeyes once again are set to square off with one of their longest running opponents. Iowa and Purdue first faced off in 1910 and have since played 92 matchups. The Boilermakers hold a 50-39-3 all-time advantage in the series. That advantage stems from a 20-game winning streak spanning from 1961 to 1980.
Under head coach Kirk Ferentz, the Hawkeyes started 10-4 against the Boilermakers from 2001-2016. But current Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm has had Iowa’s number as the Boilers hold a 4-1 record in the series since Brohm became coach. That includes wins in each of the last two meetings. The Hawkeyes haven’t won in West Lafeyette since 2016, but Iowa held a 5-3 record on the road in the series pre-dating the addition of Brohm.
Iowa enters the matchup with a bit extra on the line. The Boilermakers are led on offense by wide receiver Charlie Jones. The former Hawkeye transferred to Purdue after spring practice this year and has taken the conference by storm. Jones leads the conference with 840 receiving yards through 8 games - more than double the yardage he amassed in his two seasons in Iowa City.
Jones joined fellow former Hawkeye receiver Tyrone Tracy, Jr., an Indiana native, in transferring to Purdue. The duo has helped to bring real spice to what was once a tongue in cheek rivalry created out of thin air by former Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney. The Boilers are now, legitimately, our most hated rivals.
Preseason Prep Work
As we march toward kick off, be sure to check out our preseason preview for this week’s matchup. There’s loads of important details and unique looks at this week’s opponent, including these great stats:
71.6%: Aidan O’Connell is coming off his first senior season with the Big Ten’s #2 completion percentage. Against the Hawkeyes last season, he hit 75% in a sterling performance. Starting QBs under Brohm have tallied a 65% completion percentage against the Hawkeyes and a solid 2.4% interception rate which is well below the 5.3% interception rate Iowa forced from opponent quarterbacks.
127: The flipside of Purdue’s pass-happy offense is a rushing yards/game number (84.8) which ranked 127th in the country and worst among Big Ten teams by 20+ yards.
3: Number of receivers Purdue has who previously played for Iowa. Tyrone Tracy, Jr & Charlie Jones got the headlines but Curtis Deville, Jr. previously played for Iowa...high school. In Louisiana.
22.4: Purdue has undergone a ton of turnover at defensive coordinator and struck gold with last season’s hiring of Ron English & Mark Hagen as co-defensive coordinators. It was their second-best defense under Brohm & best by a touchdown since his first season, when the Boilers yielded 20.5 PPG.
Here’s a look at the preseason predictions for this one:
Staff Prediction: Tossup - 50/50 split
Fan Prediction: Iowa Win, 56% of the vote
BizarroMath Prediction: Iowa 19.00, Purdue 22.60 (Purdue +3.61), 44.21% chance of Iowa win
Stay tuned all week as we dive deeper on the players, matchups and stats to know as the Hawkeyes face off with the Boilermakers.