PDF: Purdue-Iowa stats
Aidan O’Connell hit David Bell for an eight-yard touchdown on third-and-five with just 2:15 to play Saturday, as Purdue rallied late to beat Iowa 24-20, opening the 2020 season on a high note.
Playing without head coach Jeff Brohm, star Rondale Moore and other key players, the Boilermakers started strong and closed especially strong, forcing a clutch turnover with a few minutes left, then mounting the go-ahead drive, capped by Bell’s third touchdown of the game.
Bell caught 13 passes for 121 yards and those three scores, while Zander Horvath ran for 129 yards.
Three things from the game …
• Purdue’s new defense did a lot of different things and Iowa struggled with it early. As the game wore on, the Hawkeyes got their ground game established, which then opened up the pass. It was a respectable first showing for the Boilermaker unit, highlight by a really good first quarter and a third-quarterback shutout. Twenty points isn’t a bad showing for a first outing, and the defense also forced two really important turnovers, the second of which was particularly clutch, then sealed the game with a game-sealing stop.
The offense made the plays that decided the game, but the defense may have won the game.
• There wasn’t much overly apparent that Purdue was missing without Jeff Brohm, Rondale Moore or King Doerue. Obviously, there’s no telling what would have happened with them, but Purdue overcame a ton to win without them.
Just a very impressive perfomance.
• Purdue pulled it out, despite missing in some golden opportunities throughout this game, but In the first half, Aidan O’Connell couldn’t connect with a wide-open David Bell for a game-breaker-type play deep down the field. Then, on subsequent possessions bracketing halftime, O’Connell’s first Interception denied Purdue a chance at at least a field goal before halftime, then his second occurred In the red zone to stall what likely would have been a Boilermaker scoring drive. After the first pick — a throw that bounced off the back shoulder of tight end Payne Durham — Iowa retook possession and managed a go-ahead field goal just before the half.