The Iowa Hawkeyes had their season flash before their eyes a week ago when quarterback Cade McNamara went to the turf in agony on Iowa’s second possession of the game. But backup Deacon Hill came on in relief and proved himself more than serviceable. And the Hawkeye defense and special teams remains excellent.
Now Hill is set to take the field at Kinnick not as a backup, but as Iowa’s starter for the remainder of the season. He’ll have the benefit of not only a full week of practice with reps alongside Iowa’s other starters, but also a gameplan specifically designed with him in mind, rather than a handful of packages that he could be shoehorned into.
Of course, offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz is still calling the plays and installing those packages so whether anything is actually tailored to Hill’s strengths remains to be seen. And whether he can crack the code of a Ryan Walters-coached defense remains questionable at best.
Walters, who coached an Illinois defense that held the Hawkeyes to just a pair of field goals a season ago, is now in his first year as head coach of the Purdue Boilermakers. The Boilers enter today’s matchup fresh off a 44-19 thrashing of Walters’ prior employer and seeking to exact revenge for the 24-3 beating Iowa put on them a season ago.
Walters isn’t the only new face in West Lafeyette. Former Texas QB Hudson Card will lead the Purdue offense into Kinnick this afternoon. He’ll be joined by some familiar faces, including former Iowa wide receiver Tyron Tracy, who is now the starting RB for the Boilers. Tracy has scored in every Purdue game this season.
On the other side of the ball, despite Walters’ reputation for defense, the Boilermakers have struggled. They’ve giving up nearly 30 points and 400 yards per game on the season. Brian Ferentz would sure like a taste of that action.
As we countdown to kickoff, here’s everything you need to know about today’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
Preliminary Weather Forecast: mostly sunny with temps in the mid-50s, 10-15 mph winds
DraftKings Sportsbook Line: Iowa -2.5, O/U 39
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
Keep an eye out for the availability report, which is set to be published around 12:30 pm CT. Recall that’s a new item in the Big Ten this season with availability reported two hours before game time.