IOWA CITY, Iowa – No. 21 Iowa looks to avoid its second three-game Big Ten losing streak in as many seasons when it hosts Purdue on Saturday. The Hawkeyes opened the 2019 campaign with four consecutive wins, including an 18-17 victory over Iowa State in the Cy-Hawk series, before suffering defeats to 16th-ranked Michigan (10-3) and No. 7 Penn State (17-12) to fall into a last-place tie in the Big Ten West Division.
TV: Noon ET, ESPN2. LINE: Iowa -18
"We're not going to be undefeated we've proven that already, but everything else is out there for us and we have to keep playing," Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz told reporters. "We have an opportunity to play Saturday and get back into the win column." Purdue snapped a three-game skid with an impressive 40-14 win over Maryland on Homecoming. The Boilermakers had given up an average of 36 points per game during their losing skid, but held an explosive Terrapins offense in check, and they hope to continue their climb back towards .500 by posting their first three-game winning streak in the rivalry with the Hawkeyes since the late 1970s. "Iowa doesn't give up points and they don't give up big plays as they make you earn it," Purdue coach Jeff Brohm told reporters. "We need to find a way to go on the road and beat a good opponent, but it will be a tough matchup."
ABOUT PURDUE (2-4, 1-2 Big Ten)
Jack Plummer was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week after completing 33-of-41 passes for a career-high 420 yards and three touchdowns in the win over Maryland. Wide receiver David Bell earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors as he hauled in a career-best nine passes for 138 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the Boilermakers racked up 547 total yards against the Terrapins. Dynamic wide receiver Rondale Moore is likely to miss his third straight game with a hamstring injury while center Viktor Beach will be sidelined for the second consecutive week with a back issue.
ABOUT IOWA (4-2, 1-2)
Nate Stanley went 25-of-43 through the air for a season-high 286 yards and a score against Penn State to move within a touchdown pass of overtaking Drew Tate (61) in second place on the program's all-time list. Brandon Smith set a career high with seven catches for 86 yards and an acrobatic touchdown catch while Jack Koerner made 13 tackles, which was the most by an Iowa player since 2017. Offensive lineman Cole Banwart suffered a season-ending lower-body injury in practice while leading tackler Kristian Welch (46) is expected to play after leaving the previous game with an unspecified ailment.
1. Iowa is ranked fifth nationally in total defense (260.8).
2. Purdue quarterbacks have thrown for over 300 yards in 13 games under Brohm.
3. The Hawkeyes have been held to one touchdown in the last eight quarters.
PREDICTION: Iowa 30, Purdue 16