Bring Down the House: Iowa vs. Purdue Preview

House is back! Here he breaks down Iowa's matchup against Purdue this weekend.

Jonathan House, Sports Editor

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10-0. Who saw this coming? After the Hawkeyes defeated Minnesota on Saturday night, this is the new reality in Iowa City. The only thing that stands in between the Hawkeyes and continuing their perfect season is the Purdue Boilermakers, a team that only has one win against an FBS team this season. Purdue has, however, stayed in games against good teams. The Boilermakers only lost to then second ranked Michigan State by three, and another top 20 ranked team, Northwestern by only seven last week. Both of those games were on the road. The weather could have a big impact on this game, as five to eight inches of snow is expected on Friday night, and game time temperatures will only be in the twenties.

Here are my keys for the Hawkeyes to avoid getting upset by Purdue on Saturday:

  1. Run the ball. Iowa’s rushing attack has been strong this year. The Hawkeyes are tied with Northern Illinois for fifth in the country in rushing touchdowns with 30. Iowa also is second in the Big 10, only behind Ohio State in rushing yards per game, with 211.7. Purdue’s rush defense has been atrocious, allowing an average of 210.4 yards per game, which ranks 113th out of 128 teams. Especially in conditions that might make it difficult to pass, Iowa needs to continue its dominating rushing attack.
  2. Defense needs to stop Purdue’s passing attack. Although its passing game is only average, the Boilermakers offense is very much passing oriented. (They have over 2200 passing yards to only 1289 rushing yards.) Iowa’s defense looked exposed last week, as it gave up over 300 yards passing last week. Almost 90 yards above the average. Iowa needs to improve its defense this week, and it starts with stopping the pass.
  3. Lead time of possession. Iowa has averaged 33:41 in time of possession this year. Iowa has allowed its defense to stay on the sidelines, and has worn down opponents by doing this. The Hawkeyes need to keep it up.

According to a post on Hawkeye Nation, Iowa hasn’t reinvented the wheel this year, it simply has just done what all successful Kirk Ferentz coached teams have done; avoid mistakes, play tough defense, and have a good offensive line and running game. Time of possession, as mentioned above, is also a factor in this. Iowa should cruise to 11-0 on Saturday if the Hawkeyes do these three things.

Prediction: Iowa 35, Purdue 10.