Final score: #23 Iowa 26 Purdue 20

Brief recap: Well, it was essentially the same Iowa team we’ve seen all season long, except the offense was able to get in field goal range frequently and actually found the end zone. The Hawkeyes defense was the story of the day again, smothering Purdue’s young offense from the start. Iowa struggled to get much going on offense itself, but relied heavily on the leg of kicker Keith Duncan, who booted four field goals through the uprights in the win. Iowa built a 9-7 lead at halftime, with the only scoring coming from Duncan’s foot. Early in the third quarter, with Purdue driving down the field and a chance to take the lead with any scoring play, Riley Moss intercepted Jack Plummer to give the Hawkeyes excellent field position. Iowa scored on a 9-play, 72-yard drive to give the Hawkeyes a 16-7 lead in the third. Iowa was able to punch one more across the goal line to solidify the win.

Key moment: There are actually two big moments, both of which were turnovers. On Purdue’s second possession, Amad Anderson Jr. got inside the Iowa 10-yard line, but fumbled the ball and the Hawkeyes recovered. Then, there was that Plummer interception in the second half when the Boilers were driving. Those were two huge moments in the game.

Key stat: Iowa possessed the ball for more than 35 minutes, which is exactly how it wants to control the game. It didn’t result in a ton of points for the Hawkeyes, but it sure limited the amount of time the Purdue offense was on the field.

Key player: For the second time this season, Keith Duncan deserves some recognition. On a wet surface at Kinnick Stadium, Duncan knocked home all four of his field goal attempts in the game, and was also 2-of-2 on extra points in the game. Even when the Iowa offense wasn’t able to cross the goal line, he made sure his team came away with points.

What it means for Purdue: It’s important to remember that Purdue is still without so many key layers, including former freshman All-American Rondale Moore. This young team has earned the moniker “Brohm’s Baby Boilers.” There were plenty of mistakes made by the Boilers throughout the game — including some made by the coaching staff. But this Purdue team refuses to quit and is getting its young players some important playing time early in their careers. This team is far from where it wants to be, but gets better each week.

What it means for Iowa: After two disappointing losses to Michigan and Penn State, Iowa was able to get back in the win column, and at an important time. While the Hawkeyes do have two losses, they still have a shot at winning a division title if they took care of business and got a little help down the road. The defense is clearly up for the challenge, but Nate Stanley and the Iowa offensive line has looked subpar over the last three weeks. Kirk Ferentz is going to have to rely pretty heavily on that defense to get wins the rest of the way it seems.