Saturday night was bittersweet for the Iowa Hawkeyes as they came away victorious over the Michigan State Spartans 26-16 under the lights of Kinnick Stadium. Cooper DeJean’s 70-yard punt return for a touchdown was one of those electric moments that makes night games in Kinnick unforgettable.
But Iowa also lost their starting QB Cade McNamara early in the first quarter of Saturday’s contest and closed out the day with backup Deacon Hill under center. Hill finished the day 11 of 27 passing for 115 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Statistically, it wasn’t a great day. But it was serviceable, especially when you account for the six drops by Iowa WRs on the day.
Notably, offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz was able to open up some of the bread and butter bootlegs, rollouts and other play-action calls that have been missing since McNamara went down with a quad injury on Kid’s Day two months ago. Ferentz, Hill and the Hawkeyes will need the full complement of plays that might be hiding somewhere in the depths of that playbook to keep up with their next opponent.
It is, of course, our most hated rivals - the Purdue Boilermakers - who are headed to Iowa City this week to face off with the Hawkeyes on homecoming. The Boilers are fresh off a 44-19 drubbing of Bret Bielema’s Illinois Fighting Illini.
However, while Purdue thrashed Illinois in week five, they’ve had a bit of an up and down season under first year head coach Ryan Walters. The Boilermakers opened Walters’ tenure with a home loss to Fresno State, but bounced back for a big road win at Virginia Tech in week two. In the subsequent two weeks, Purdue gave up 35 and 38 points to Syracuse and Wisconsin respectively and topped out at 20 and 17 points of their own. On the year, PU is now averaging 28 points per game while giving up nearly 30 points per game.
Can the Hawkeyes take advantage of a porous Boilermaker defense to get new starter Deacon Hill rolling? Or will Purdue take their momentum from the win over Illinois to make another run at a Big Ten West title?
Here’s a quick look at the details for Saturday’s matchup.
Date: Saturday, October 7th
Time: 2:30 pm CT
Matchup: Purdue Boilermakers (2-3, 1-1) Iowa Hawkeyes (4-1, 1-1)
Location: Kinnick Stadium - Iowa City, IA
TV: Peacock (streaming)
Preliminary Weather Forecast: mostly sunny with temps in the upper-50s, 10% chance of rain
DraftKings Opening Line: Iowa -3.5, O/U 41.5
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
Purdue and Iowa are set to face off for the 94th time in series history on Saturday. Iowa won last year’s matchup in West Lafeyette 24-3. However, the Boilermakers hold the all-time lead 50-40-3. Moreover, Purdue has won two of the last three matchups as well as four of the last six.
But those trends were under former head coach Jeff Brohm who is now back at his alma mater Louisville. For the Hawkeyes, they’ll have a slew of alums back in Iowa City visiting their alma mater this weekend as the school celebrates homecoming. This will mark the second time in three years Iowa hosts Purdue on homecoming. The Boilers played spoilermaker in 2021 with a 24-7 win over the Hawkeyes.
Beyond Purdue, Iowa has won ten of its last 13 homecoming games dating back to 2009. The Hawkeyes are 61-44-5 all-time on homecoming.
Saturday’s game will be the 1,300th in Iowa program history, which dates back to 1889. It will, however, be the first game broadcast over a non-linear network since 1994 as the Hawkeyes and Boilermakers are set to be streamed on Peacock.
As we move toward kickoff on Saturday night here’s a look at the preseason predictions for this one.
Staff Prediction: Iowa Win, 100% of the vote
Fan Prediction: Iowa Win, 100% of the vote
BizarroMath Prediction: Iowa 24, Purdue 17
Be sure to check back in throughout the week as all preview and postgame stories will be published to this stream.