Kirk Ferentz is getting his Iowa offense ready to face a Purdue defense that excels at getting after the quarterback. The Boilermakers are tied for second in the B1G with 16 sacks.

For Ferentz, Purdue head coach Ryan Walters is a familiar foe.

“They’ve been successful, talking about Coach Walters going back to Missouri, we got our first good look at things that year, 2020, and the last two years at Illinois,” Ferentz said in his Tuesday press conference.


ESPN BET is now live in Iowa

Use promo code SATURDAY to get your $250 bonus


Ferentz broke down what he has seen from Walters’ in 2023. The Iowa head coach noted the concepts are familiar, but Walters mixes things up to avoid being predictable.

“It’s the same defense basically, but, yeah, they’re always squeaking in, evading, doing those things,” Ferentz said. “Sometimes they’ll do those 5 guys rush. Other times it will be three. They mix it up doing various coverages. There’s a lot of moving parts, and it’s a challenge for everybody really to move the ball.

“We’re going to have to really be clear on what we’re doing, and then — they force you basically to block every guy out there with the five-man rush basically. It’s five guys blocking five. Either they’re moving a couple guys, working them in combination to get somebody open, or just one-on-one block. It’s a challenge every play. It’s like however many plays, 60 plays of just you got the guy, this guy and that guy, and they kind of do the same thing in the back end a lot too.”

While Cade McNamara’s season-ending injury is a huge blow to the Hawkeyes, Deacon Hill offers more mobility, which could help the Iowa offense avoid adding to Purdue’s sack total.