Author: Dan Vietor
© Old Gold Free Press Columnists
We seem to be saying this over and over. We have caught 4 teams in a row on an upswing and we have come out with 3 wins. We could have stumbled in any of those 3 wins. Last year, these would have been 3 losses. Purdue came into this game with a rather unenthusiastic win over Northwestern.
Iowa came in on a roll. Its defense had moved up to #2 in the conference. Their offense had outgained 4 of 5 Big 10 opponents (Michigan outgained Iowa nearly 2-1 and lost). The only thing Iowa wasn't able to do so far was put a good effort together on the road. This would be their test.
1 I20 I16 3--4 punt P48 I00 6-52 TD
1 I18 50 9-32 punt P18 P26 3- 8 punt
1 I48 P17 11-35 miss FG P17/I27 10-56 FG
2 I25 50 6-25 punt P20 P28 3- 8 punt
2 I36 I34 3--2 punt P41 I43 6-16 punt
2 I02 I05 3- 3 punt I25 I25 1- 0 FG
3 P49 I00 3-61 TD
3 I31 I23 3--8 punt P37 I00 14-63 TD
3 I37 P00 9-63 TD P08/P27 5-19 punt
4 I33 P00 12-67 TD P24 I16 14-60 miss FG
4 I16 P31 8-53 INT P20 P19 1--1 game
The first two drives are indicative of the entire day. Iowa starts at their own 20 and starts with a run where Maurice Brown is stopped for a 5 yd loss. A clipping penalty on Iowa is declined. Fred Russell gains only 2 on second down and Nate Chander misses a pass and forces a punt. After a 38 yd punt, Purdue takes over at their 48. Purdue with their first drive being a short field has meant a TD almost every time. But after scoring on their first drive in the first 8 games, Purdue had failed in the last two games. This would be back to normal. After a false start, a 9 yd completion to Stubblefield, a Void run for no gain, Orton hits Standeford for 17 to the Iowa 32. A play later, Void breaks one up the middle to the Iowa 9, first and goal. On the next play, Void barrels up the middle for the TD to put Purdue up 7-0.
Iowa starts their next drive with 3 Russell runs for a first down. Then Chandler hits Brown for 21 yds to midfield. But the drive stalls there. Chandler misses a wide open Ochoa that would have been a TD. Then Russell is dumped in the backfield and Chandler is nearly sacked on 3 and Iowa punts. Purdue goes 3 and out and Iowa gets the ball back at midfield. Brown catches one for 9 and Russell runs for the first down at the Purdue 41. Russell runs for 9 and Chandler scrambles for another first down at the 28. A play later, Chandler hits Brown for 13 down to the 19. Russell then runs twice to the 9. Russell is then stopped in the backfield for a loss of three setting up a key play early in the game. Chandler then completes a pass for an apparent TD to tie the game but its called back for illegal procedure. Then after an incomplete pass, Iowa goes for the FG which is missed wide right. Purdue dodges its second bullet in two drives.
Purdue starts its next drive with 3 Void runs to the 33. Orton hits Stubblefield for 5 and Standeford for 16 to the Iowa 46. Then Iowa gives Purdue 15 more with a pass interference penalty on the next play. Runs by Void and Williams go nowhere setting up a 3rd and 11. But the Hawks help again with an offside penalty. This is just enough to get into Jones' FG range. After an incomplete pass, Jones hits a 44 yd FG to put Purdue up 10-0 early in the second quarter.
Iowa starts its next drive going backwards. A holding and false start sets up a 3rd and 17 but Chandler hits Ochoa for 30 to the Iowa 48. A sack a couple of plays later kills the drive and Iowa punts. Purdue goes 3 and out. Chandler gets sacked on first down of the next Iowa drive and they punt. Orton does manage to complete a pass to Stubbefield for 9 and a first down but holding is called on the next play. A Brandon Jones 11 yd run on 3rd and 20 gets the ball to the Iowa 42 which sets up a punt that Purdue downs at the Iowa 2 with a minute to play. Purdue uses its timeouts to get the opportunity to get the ball back with good field position. Iowa goes 3 and out and the punt is returned by Chambers to the Iowa 25 with 7 seconds left. Jones hits the 42 yd FG to put Purdue up 13-0 at the half.
Purdue's defense held Iowa and Iowa penalties stifled what offense they had. After 2 drives that could have been 14 points for Iowa and a third kept alive with a 30 yd pass, the Purdue defense stopped Iowa enough to set up the final FG.
The second half picked up where the first left off. Purdue has always put together nice opening drives and this was no different. Brooks starts the second half with a 44 yd kickoff return to near midfield. A play later, Orton makes Iowa pay for a blitz, hitting Chambers across the middle and he goes 45 yds for the TD to put Purdue up 20-0.
A holding call stops Iowa's next drive and Purdue takes over at their 37. On third and 9, Orton hits Standeford for 15 to the Iowa 47. After a short Void run and an incomplete, Orton hits Stubblefield for 12 to the Iowa 32. After two Void runs for no gain, Orton hits Stubbefield for 13 to the 20. It was the third straight third and long completion for Orton. Void runs for 5 and Orton scrambles for another 6 and a first and goal at the 9. Orton then bootlegs and apparently gets the ball into the endzone but is called down at the 1. Void is stuffed on his first attempt up the middle but makes it in on the next play to put Purdue up 27-0 midway through the 3rd quarter.
With the game all but out of reach, Iowa gets the offense going. Ochoa starts it with a nice runback to the 37. Russell runs for 9 and Chandler hits Ochoa for 9 to the Purdue 47. Jermelle Lewis breaks a run for 30 to the 17 but Lewis is stuffed for a loss of 3 on the next play. Chandler keeps the drive going with a 19 yd completion to Brown on third and 13 to the 1. A couple of plays later, Chandler runs it in for the TD to break the shutout and make the score 27-7.
The next Purdue drive starts with a nice Brooks runback for 30 but an illegal use of hands call puts Purdue back at the 8. Void gets a couple of runs to get a first down at the 18. But on third and 8, the pass to Standeford ends up a yd short and Purdue punts. Iowa drives again. On third and 9, Chandler hits Ochoa for 10 to the Iowa 44. Lewis then runs for 20 to the Purdue 36. On third and 11, Chandler hits Davis for 10 setting up a 4th and 1. A QB sneak gets the first down. After a short Lewis run, Chandler hits Davis for 13 to the 8. A play later, Chandler hits Lewis for the TD to make it a game at 27-14.
By now, it was clear the Purdue defense was wearing down. It was imperative that Purdue put some offense together. Purdue did just that. Void runs for 6 and 7 for a first down at the Purdue 37. Void goes for another 8 but on the next drive Purdue is hit with a holding penalty. Orton hits Charles Davis for 9 and Standeford for 8 more to pick up the first down at the Iowa 48. Void runs twice setting up 3rd and 5 and Orton hits Stubblefield who gets to the first down marker. Purdue gets the measurement by an inch to keep the drive going. Void runs for 1 and 8 and then Iowa helps Purdue with a offsides penalty giving Purdue a first down at the Iowa 24. Void runs three times for little gain setting up a FG attempt. In a rare moment, Jones misses the FG wide right. But Purdue took almost 8 minutes off the clock leaving Iowa just over 2 minutes to score twice.
Iowa's next drive moves fast. Chandler hits Brown for 13 and hits him again a play later for 26 to the Purdue 38. But at this point, Iowa is forced to go for the end zone. On third and long, Schweigert intercepts the Hail Mary in the endzone to end the game.
Purdue outgains Iowa 321 to 301 but over half of Iowa's yardage came on their last 3 drives. Orton was 13-20 for 167 yds and 1 TD. Void had an excellent rushing day against the Big 10's leading run defense. He ended with 120 yds on 34 carries. Stubblefield caught 6 for 52 yrds. Standeford caught 5 for 61 and Chambers caught 1 for 45 yds and a key TD. On the other side, Chandler had a good day, going 16-29 for 203 and 1 TD and 1 INT. Maurice Brown was BIG catching 8 for 126 yds. Ochoa caught 3 for 49. Fred Russell who had been running the ball for about 150 yds per game over the last few weeks was stuffed only gaining 35 yds on 18 carries. Jermelle Lewis who played the last 3 drives gained 56 yds on 7 carries. Iowa killed themselves with penalties getting called for 10. Purdue who had done the same against Northwestern, only was called for 5 in this game.
It was a big win for Purdue who now has a New Years Day bowl game on the horizon. Unless Purdue really gets blown out at Ohio State next week, they should be going to either the Capital One or Outback Bowls. With a win next week, Purdue has a great chance for their first 10 win season since 1979 and maybe 11 with a bowl win. It would be the first 11 win season in Purdue history. But first things first. Purdue goes to Columbus next week to play a tough Ohio State team who is on a roll and could be Sugar Bowl bound if they win out and USC stumbles. Lets hope it a good game and we don't see the headlights like we did in Ann Arbor a few weeks back.