Iowa and Purdue squared off in Iowa City Saturday afternoon with both programs coming off big wins. It set the stage for an intriguing matchup, and the game ultimately came down to the wire.

In the end, the Hawkeyes held on for a 20-14 win and improved to 5-1 on the season. Despite the early loss to Penn State, Iowa remains in heavy contention for the B1G West early on, thanks in large part to another dominant defense for Phil Parker.

Here are the key takeaways from an ugly win but a win nonetheless for the Hawkeyes:


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Kaleb Johnson returns in a big way

After missing 3 straight games, Johnson returned to Iowa’s lineup in Week 6 and provided an immediate impact. He scored the game’s opening touchdown with a 67-yard run in the first quarter and was the best offensive player on the field throughout the game.

Johnson finished with a game-high 134 rushing yards and averaged 7.9 yards per carry with 17 carries. That paced a rushing attack for Iowa that recorded 181 rushing yards and 5.2 yards per carry in the win.

Johnson also added a 13-yard catch and was 1 of only 2 Hawkeyes to register a reception in the win.

Erick All a serviceable go-to target

Without star tight end Luke Lachey, former Michigan star Erick All has stepped up to carry the load. In a game that saw Iowa complete just 6 passes, All had 5 of the catches for 97 yards and a touchdown.

One of All’s catches helped set up a key field goal while another proved to be the cushion Iowa needed to get the win in the fourth quarter. The Hawkeye offense is not going to change its philosophy overnight, and All will be leaned on heavily down the stretch.

Here are All’s biggest highlights from the game:

Rest assured, Iowa’s lack of production from the wide receiver position remains a major concern for the program. The Hawkeyes cannot achieve their ultimate goals without a more efficient attack, but at least All has stepped up in the meantime.

QB play leaves something to be desired for both teams

Okay, now for the ugliness associated with the Week 6 game on either side of the ball. Iowa finished the game with 6 total completions from QB Deacon Hill, but that was not for lack of attempts.

Hill — making his first career start in place of Cade McNamara — was just 6-for-21 with 110 yards, a touchdown and an interception. 5 of Hill’s completions went to TE Erick All, and while it’s good to have a go-to target, Iowa’s receivers will need to find a way to step up and help out Hill in future starts.

On the other side of the ball, Hudson Card did throw for 247 yards but had 1 touchdown to 2 interceptions in the loss. In a make-or-break drive to tie or take the lead late in the fourth, Card was sacked and completed 1-of-3 passes for 7 yards while turning the ball over on downs.

Purdue and Card might get a bit more leeway for their performance, because the Boilermakers have shown an ability to score points so far this season. The Week 6 struggles likely come from facing the Hawkeye defense in Kinnick Stadium, but it doesn’t take away from some of the ugliness throughout the game.