By Tyler Devine
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Well, it was fun while it lasted.
The second-ranked Iowa football team could not overcome a 14-7 halftime deficit and fell 24-7 to Purdue in front of a sold out Kinnick Stadium on Saturday.
It was the Hawkeyes’ first loss since a 21-20 loss to Northwestern last season. Iowa had won 12 straight games coming into Saturday.
The Hawkeyes fell to 3-1 in Big Ten play and 6-1 overall, while Purdue improved to 2-1 in the Big Ten and 4-2 overall.
“We knew Iowa was playing at a high level and it was on the road,” Purdue coach Jeff Brohm said. “Then you’ve got to go find a way to get it done. It takes a combination of both those things. It can’t just be belief and you show up and expect those things to happen. You’ve got to find a way to get it done. I give all the credit to our players, they played extremely hard the entire game.”
The Hawkeye defense was uncharacteristically shredded as the Boilermakers had 378 passing yards, 240 of which went to junior receiver David Bell.
Bell’s 240 yards set a Kinnick Stadium record.
The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Bell now has 37 catches for 558 yards and five touchdowns in three career games against Iowa.
“I think the reason he’s been able to exploit them is he’s one of the best receivers in the country and he shows that each and every week,” Brohm said. “This is just a couple weeks ago took a tremendous hit, knocked him out, bloodied his lip, got stitches. He could easily have said ‘I’ve got an NFL career and I’m going to make sure I take care of that and move on’, but he didn’t. He came back as fast as he could. He practices, he goes out there and competes. He’s a competitor. He wants to showcase was he can do against every opponent we have.”
Iowa’s defense also struggled to get off the field on third down, allowing the Boilermakers to convert on 9-of-16 third-down attempts.
Purdue also had nearly 35 minutes of time of possession.
“All credit to them,” junior linebacker Seth Benson said. “They really executed well today. They came out ready to roll and like you said, we’ve got to get off the field on third downs. There were obviously other plays there that need to be made like I said earlier, we’re going to look back and see some of these plays that I think would’ve changed the game if we were able to get off the field, even first and second downs. Bleeding yardage or deep balls, I know us as linebackers are going to look back on them.”
The Iowa offense was less than helpful, gaining 271 yards, including just 86 in the second half, most of which came with Purdue playing prevent defense while Iowa was in desperation mode on offense.
But according to Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, it’s not all gloom and doom on offense.
“I haven’t seen the film from today, but we had some pretty clean runs on them.” Ferentz said. “Six, eight, 10-yard plays. I feel like we had some really good clean runs last two weeks and showed improvement.
“I’ll see the tape from this game. If you look at the bottom line, sneaks, short yard situations, those kinds of things. But I think we’re growing there. But we obviously weren’t cohesive enough offensively couldn’t keep pace especially the second half. When you watch a clock wind down a little bit puts pressure on the fourth quarter, you can throw it out statistically, at least but I think we’re making some strides in the running game, which I’m encouraged about, we’ll see.”
Injury Report: Senior defensive back Riley Moss missed the game due to an undisclosed lower leg injury. It is the first game Moss has missed since 2019 when he missed four consecutive games due to injury.
Junior offensive lineman Cody Ince and redshirt freshman tight end Luke Lachey also sat out against Purdue. Lachey, a native of Columbus, Ohio, has four receptions for 57 yards on the season.
Ince started at left guard in Iowa’s first four games on the season.
“Cody (Ince), we thought would be able to make it,” Ferentz said. “Couldn’t answer the bell. As the week went on there, leveled off. Lachey, somebody fell on him Monday or Tuesday, Wednesday, whatever it was. But I thought he might have a chance. Hopefully we’ll get him back after the break here. And Deontae Craig, somebody fell on him. I know that was Wednesday. We lost a couple of guys this week during the week.”
Been A While: Senior running back Ivory Kelly-Martin scored Iowa’s lone touchdown Saturday.
It was Kelly-Martin’s sixth career rushing touchdown and his first since 2018 at Purdue.
Silver Lining?: Iowa’s streak of allowing 25 points or less is still alive. Iowa has played 29 straight games without surrendering 25 points, the longest streak in the nation among Power 5 teams. Purdue’s 24 points is the most by an Iowa opponent since the 2020 season opener at Purdue.