This Saturday, the Iowa Hawkeyes will play host to the Purdue Boilermakers for the 2021 Homecoming game.  Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 PM CST.

Iowa took control of the Big Ten West and put itself into College Football Playoff contention with a 23-20 comeback victory over No. 4 Penn State. The Hawkeyes are now ranked No. 2, their highest since 1985. Iowa has beaten three Top 25 teams and defeated a Top 5 team for the first time since beating No. 3 Ohio State in 2017.

The Hawkeyes trailed 17-3 before knocking Penn State QB Sean Clifford from the game in the second quarter. Once again Iowa was relatively pedestrian on offense with just 305 yards, and the Hawkeyes rank 120th of 130 FBS teams in total offense. Defense continues to carry the day, as the Hawkeyes lead the nation with 20 takeaways, including a national-

Iowa Vs Penn State

best 16 interceptions. Iowa also leads the country in turnover margin at an astonishing +15.

The Hawkeyes’ elite defense will face a Purdue offense that can move the ball. Purdue is 10th in the nation with 325.4 yards passing per game but has struggled to put points on the board. Purdue has scored 13 points in three straight games, which is the average amount Iowa’s No. 4 scoring defense gives up. The Boilermakers struggle to run the ball, ranking 122nd at 89.4 yards per game. Aidan O’Connell replaced Jack Plummer as the starting quarterback two weeks ago and threw for 371 yards but only one touchdown and committed two turnovers in a rainy homecoming loss to Minnesota.

Purdue will have to be less one-dimensional on offense if it wants to play in a bowl game for the first time since 2018. Meanwhile, Iowa must come down from the high of the field-storming Saturday at Kinnick Stadium after its biggest win in several years. Iowa opened -11, and the line rose just a bit before settling at 11.5.

Like Purdue, the Hawkeyes have their own offensive issues that have been masked by the defense forcing so many turnovers. This is largely the reason the total opened at 45.5 and promptly moved down to 43.

We talked with Hawkeye Report's Tom Kakert on "Don't Hassle Us We're Local" on Friday and here is what he had to say about Saturday's victory and the upcoming Homecoming game the Saturday versus Purdue.


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