Still in control of its destiny in the Big Ten West, Purdue spent its bye week doing far more regrouping than reflecting on what could lie ahead.
What is at stake beyond Saturday’s visit from Iowa in West Lafayette, Ind.?
Boilermakers coach Jeff Brohm urges players not to bother.
“I think we can’t concern ourselves with anything at the end of the tunnel,” Brohm said. “That’s when you get caught looking down a road and don’t prepare as hard as you can.”
Should the Boilermakers (5-3, 3-2 Big Ten) defeat Iowa (4-4, 2-3), they’d set up a huge division clash at resurgent Illinois the following week. To get there, Purdue must play more efficiently on offense than the most recent time out, a 35-24 loss at Wisconsin on Oct. 22 that snapped a four-game winning streak.
Purdue quarterback Aidan O’Connell eclipsed 300 yards for the third straight game while passing for a touchdown, but he also threw three interceptions.
“I think we’re all disappointed in the turnovers,” Brohm said. “Aidan was disappointed. We talked about it after, and he’s still angry about it. You know, it happens. You learn from it and move on.”
The Hawkeyes recovered from the roughest stretch of their season to date, routing Northwestern 33-13 last week to stop a three-game skid.
Spencer Petras threw for 220 yards and a touchdown and ran for a score, and Drew Stevens kicked four field goals. Iowa limited Northwestern to 177 total yards, including 18 rushing yards on 37 attempts, while notching a season high in points and yards (398).
“Probably the biggest step forward was on offense; that was really good to see,” Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz said. “The best we’ve played together this season so far. The defense gave another good effort out there, and special teams, for the most part, were pretty good.”
Purdue has won the past two meetings to take a 50-39-3 lead in the all-time series.
“We haven’t had much success the last couple outings against them, so that’s a goal of ours, to try to change that,” Ferentz said.
Brohm is 4-1 against Iowa in his career.
–Field Level Media