On Saturday the No.2 Iowa Hawkeyes lost 24-7 to the unranked Purdue Boilermakers a week after the Hawkeyes stormed back to beat No. 4 Penn State in front of a raucous crowd at Kinnick Stadium, however, they could not recreate that magic against the Boilermakers. During its 6-0 start, Iowa has been able to overcome an underwhelming offense with strong special teams and an extremely opportunistic defense. Entering Saturday’s game, the Hawkeyes ranked No. 8 nationally in total defense and had forced a remarkable 20 turnovers, including 16 interceptions.
On Saturday though they could not contain the duo of Aidan O’Connell and David Bell. With so many injuries at running back, Purdue rotated in three quarterbacks throughout the game. O’Connell was magnificent in the passing game, completing 30-of-40 passes for 375 yards and two touchdowns in the win. His favorite target was Bell, one of the best receivers in the country. Bell caught 11 passes for 240 yards and a touchdown that came in the fourth quarter that proved to put the nail in the coffin of the Hawkeyes as one of the biggest upsets of the year. The Hawkeyes, playing without senior defensive back Riley Moss (tied for the national lead with four interceptions), just had no answers for Bell, who eluded defenders all game long.
In all, the Purdue offense went for 464 yards and converted on nine of its first 13 third-down attempts. Now what does this mean for the Hawkeyes? The Hawkeyes entered the game ranked No.120 in the nation in total offense and it showed in the loss to Purdue. After the loss their playoff hopes have taken a hit as the Big Ten West is now wide open. The Hawkeyes have a bye next week before traveling to Wisconsin on Oct. 30. From there, they close out the season with Northwestern, Minnesota, Illinois, and lastly, Nebraska.