Recap: Iowa Hawkeyes Run Away From Purdue

Oct 15, 2016; West Lafayette, IN, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes quarterback C.J. Beathard (16) scores a touchdown against the Purdue Boilermakers at Ross Ade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 15, 2016; West Lafayette, IN, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes quarterback C.J. Beathard (16) scores a touchdown against the Purdue Boilermakers at Ross Ade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports /

A recap of the Iowa Hawkeyes win over Purdue

The Iowa Hawkeyes returned to their roots and pounded the ball on offense to beat the Purdue Boilermakers 49-35. Iowa took control of the game early, scoring 21 points in the first quarter, and didn’t let up in the first half.

The Hawkeyes took a 35-7 lead into halftime, although Purdue made it closer in the fourth quarter when Iowa put backups in. Either way, five touchdowns passes from David Blough was not enough for Purdue.

Iowa relied on running the ball early and often. LeShun Daniels Jr and Akrum Wadley each topped 150 rushing yards and combined for three touchdowns.

Wadley led the team with 170 rushing yards and a touchdown on 14 carries, including a 75-yard touchdown run. Daniels rushed for 156 yards on 24 carries and two scores. Daniels nearly had another touchdown run in the first quarter, but a chop block penalty negated it. C.J. Beathard ran it in from 15 yards out a couple of plays later.

Along with a 15-yard touchdown scamper, Beathard also completed 10-of-17 passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns. Beathard completed a 42-yard touchdown pass to Riley McCarron to end the first quarter, and later connected with freshman tight end Noah Fant for a five yard touchdown in the second half.

Starting tight end George Kittle left in the first quarter after limping off the field. He went to the locker room and didn’t return in the second half. It was most likely precautionary since the Hawkeyes had the game in the bag. It was a smart move not to risk a more serious injury with Wisconsin coming to Iowa City next week.

While losing Kittle, who Iowa found ways to implement him into the passing game early, didn’t help the passing game, it helped reinforce the need to establish a ground game. It became evident early that Iowa wanted to put even more focus on running the ball this week, especially with Purdue’s banged-up defensive line.

Iowa took out their starters at the start of the fourth quarter, although their hands were forced to put them back in later in the quarter after Purdue rattled off a couple of touchdowns. Besides offensive lineman Boone Myers leaving to the locker room, and Akrum Wadley limping off the field but returning on the next play, Iowa was fortunate not to suffer any significant injuries late in the game.

Desmond King put the game away for good, though, with his first interception of the season. Blough threw into double coverage and King intercepted the pass and returned it for a pick-six. It shined a little light on an otherwise underwhelming day for the Hawkeyes’ defense.

Quick Hits

  • Nathan Stanley came in at quarterback for a couple of drives. The offense didn’t move well. He completed 2-of-3 passes for 15 yards before being replaced by Beathard.
  • David Blough threw for 458 yards and five touchdowns on 30-of-60 passing. Besides a couple of poor throws to open receivers, he looked good. He did have one interception, but he kept Purdue semi-close all game and could have made it a real game with better throws in the first half.
  • Iowa’s run defense was strong the whole game. Purdue only averaged 2.1 yards per carry and Markell Jones rushed for a measly 33 yards on 9 carries. Jones did leave the game with a minor injury in the second half but returned.
  • Purdue’s backup tight end Brycen Hopkins caught two touchdowns on the afternoon, including one that was tipped by a couple of Iowa defenders before landing in his hands. He finished the game with 80 yards on three receptions.
  • Iowa ran a reversal with Jerminic Smith in the second quarter, and Smith gained 45 yards. It seemed like Iowa could do whatever they wanted on the ground in the first half.
  • Purdue only sacked Beathard a couple of times, and he didn’t get beaten up like in past weeks. The offensive line did a good job giving him time to throw and opening lanes for the running backs.

Next: Why Tyler Cook Will be B10 Freshman of the Year

Iowa will be back at home next week against the Wisconsin Badgers at 11 a.m.