Rapid Reaction: Purdue stays alive in B1G West race with nail-biting win over Iowa
Purdue needed every second, but it got a critical win over Iowa on Saturday to keep its B1G West hopes alive.
Spencer Evans nailed a 25-yard field goal attempt with 0:08 left to lift the Boilermakers to a 38-36 victory over No. 16 Iowa in West Lafayette. It was Purdue’s first win over the Hawkeyes at Ross-Ade Stadium since 2007.
The Boilermakers got back to their bread-and-butter this weekend, finding effective ways to move the football through the air. After throwing three interceptions with no touchdowns last week against Michigan State, David Blough threw for 333 yards and four touchdowns. His favorite target was Terry Wright, who had six receptions for 146 yards and three touchdowns.
Saturday’s win keeps Purdue right in the mix for the B1G West title. The Boilers are now 5-4 on the season and 4-2 in conference play. They still trail Northwestern by a full game and the Wildcats own the head-to-head.
It’s still far ahead where anywhere though Purdue would be at this stage in the season.
Purdue owned the lead through the first 50 minutes of the game but an interception and one-yard touchdown run from Mekhi Sargent gave the Hawkeyes their first lead at 36-35 with just over 10 minutes remaining.
On the final drive, the Boilermakers offense was able to piece together an 11-play, 43-yard possession to set up the game-winning field goal from Spencer.
With the loss, Iowa dropped to 6-3 on the year and is 3-3 in the B1G.
Blough and the Boilers looked fragile last week in the loss to Michigan State. Playing another stout defense, it was unclear whether or not they would be able to move the football as effectively as they did during their four-game winning streak. But receivers made some big plays and Blough was accurate through most of the game, despite making some late mistakes.
Purdue now has games against Minnesota, Wisconsin and Indiana left. While it will need some help to get to Indianapolis, taking care of business puts Jeff Brohm and Co. in great position at the end of the season.
In addition to making it a third win over a ranked opponent this season, the Boilermakers are just one game away from bowl eligibility.