Purdue most certainly had some holes to fill as it opened the 2020 season with some key absences. Through 30 minutes of play, the Boilermakers look like they can still compete with a quality Big Ten program such as Iowa. Purdue trails 17-14.

Late in the half, the Boilermakers looked like they may have a chance to go into the break tied or with the lead, but an interception and a late push by the Hawkeyes resulted in a 27-yard field goal that gave Iowa the lead.

The absences started at the top for Purdue as coach Jeff Brohm battles a coronavirus diagnosis and cannot be at the game. That leaves Brian Brohm in charge of leading the squad.

As for players, key wideout Rondale Moore was announced as out for Saturday’s game for an undisclosed reason.

In the early going, things have been OK so far. Quarterback Aidan O’Connell, who was named the starter today, has come out showing some promise through the air. He is 17 for 26 with 150 yards and two touchdowns. David Bell has caught both of O’Connell’s touchdowns while having 9 catches for 85 yards.

Late in the first half, however, O’Connell’s interception came in the midst of a drive that had the Boilermakers into Iowa territory and set up the Hawkeyes’ field goal to end the half.

On the ground, Zach Horvath has been the main horse as he’s run for 36 yards on seven carries.

So far, Iowa has found some success on offense while going for 282 combined yards in the first half.

Like almost any game against the Hawkeyes, it will likely be a tight game that comes down to the very end. So far, Purdue has shown itself to be a team that can compete with Iowa even without some key pieces.