On a cold, windy, snow-packed Saturday morning in Kinnick Stadium, the Iowa Hawkeyes locked up their first-ever Big Ten West Division championship with a 40-20 win over Purdue. The Hawkeyes scored touchdowns on the game's first three series, building a 20-0 lead. A Purdue comeback cut the lead to 20-13 in the third quarter, but a pair of C.J. Beathard touchdown passes and a Jordan Canzeri 43-yard touchdown run cemented the victory.
Four Iowa halfbacks combined for 26 carries and 151 yards, a decent day against a much-maligned Purdue defense. Two LeShun Daniels touchdown runs staked Iowa to its early lead, a 43-yard Jordan Canzeri run put a cherry on the sundae, and the rest of running game was effective enough to set up play action. C.J. Beathard took it from there, throwing for 213 yards and three touchdowns, including a perfectly-executed 35-yard touchdown pass to George Kittle that put the game out of reach.
Purdue is hanging with No. 5 Iowa live on ESPN2, but the Hawkeyes got a little breathing room with this 35-yard TD: https://t.co/tRNN691VAZ— ESPN (@espn) November 21, 2015
We're running out of records for this team to break: The Hawkeyes improve to 11-0 for the first time in program history and match the program record for wins in a season (2002 and 2009 also won eleven games). A win next week against Nebraska would give Iowa its second undefeated Big Ten season in modern times and first since 2002.
Most important: The trip to Indianapolis is booked, and the dream of a Rose Bowl (or Playoff appearance) is still alive. Everything is still in front of this squad, and only Nebraska stands in the way of program history.