Despite not having top wide receiver Rondale Moore and head coach Jeff Brohm, Purdue managed to hold on to a 24-20 win against Iowa to open the season on Saturday.

With Aidan O’Connell named the team’s starting quarterback on Saturday just hours leading up to opening kickoff and these significant absences, there might have been questions about the Boilermaker offense.

Those questions were answered early. O’Connell threw a pair of touchdowns in the first half and helped keep the game tied at 14 until his late first half interception set up an Iowa field goal as the Hawkeyes took a 17-14 lead into halftime.

In the second half, the defenses stepped up as neither team scored in the third quarter. After Iowa extended its lead to 20-14 early in the fourth quarter, Purdue cut the lead back to three once again.

With 2:15 left in the fourth quarter, O’Connell helped lead Purdue down the field. With the ball at the six-yard-line, the Boilermaker quarterback found David Bell. It was O’Connell’s third touchdown pass of the game. All three went to Bell.

Following the score, Purdue’s defense stopped Iowa’s final push to regain the lead.

The win is an encouraging note for a Boilermaker squad that has a top receiver out for undisclosed reasons and a coach battling coronavirus. Next up, Purdue faces Illinois in a game that will likely be an easier task than Saturday’s.