Hawkeye offense shows improvement in loss to Boilermakers

After a rough outing at Penn State, Iowa’s offense bounced back against Purdue despite untimely penalties and a tough loss.

Iowa+tight+end+Noah+Fant+breaks+free+from+an+attempted+tackle+by+Purdue+cornerback+Kenneth+Major+during+the+Iowa%2FPurdue+game+at+Ross-Ade+Stadium+in+West+Lafayette%2C+Ind.+on+Saturday%2C+November+3%2C+2018.+The+Boilermakers+defeated+the+Hawkeyes+38-36.+
Back to Article
Back to Article

Hawkeye offense shows improvement in loss to Boilermakers

Iowa tight end Noah Fant breaks free from an attempted tackle by Purdue cornerback Kenneth Major during the Iowa/Purdue game at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Ind. on Saturday, November 3, 2018. The Boilermakers defeated the Hawkeyes 38-36.

Iowa tight end Noah Fant breaks free from an attempted tackle by Purdue cornerback Kenneth Major during the Iowa/Purdue game at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Ind. on Saturday, November 3, 2018. The Boilermakers defeated the Hawkeyes 38-36.

Katina Zentz

Iowa tight end Noah Fant breaks free from an attempted tackle by Purdue cornerback Kenneth Major during the Iowa/Purdue game at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Ind. on Saturday, November 3, 2018. The Boilermakers defeated the Hawkeyes 38-36.

Katina Zentz

Katina Zentz

Iowa tight end Noah Fant breaks free from an attempted tackle by Purdue cornerback Kenneth Major during the Iowa/Purdue game at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Ind. on Saturday, November 3, 2018. The Boilermakers defeated the Hawkeyes 38-36.

Pete Ruden, Sports Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Iowa didn’t get the result it wanted in its 38-36 loss to Purdue Nov. 3 and likely knocked itself out of Big Ten Championship contention, but there are still some positives to play for.

The offense, which struggled mightily in a loss at Penn State just over a week ago, bounced back in a key way, putting up 36 points and 393 total yards against the Boilermakers.

Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley played a big role in the turnaround, passing 21-of-32 for 275 yards and a touchdown — just one week after going 18-of-49 for 205 yards and 2 interceptions.

While the defense struggled against a stellar Purdue offense that played lights-out, the Iowa offense needed to come through and cancel it out — just as the defense has done for the offense numerous times throughout the season.

“I think we had an explosive offense — we knew we had to pick our defense up at times like they’ve done for us this year,” Stanley said. “I think the offensive line did a great job, the receivers did a great job, the backs ran hard. Just happy with the fight that we had today.”

While it was a step in the right direction, there is still work to do. The Hawkeyes might not be in Indianapolis come December, but there is still the possibility of a 10-win season and a solid bowl game.

To get to that mark, there is room for improvement.

No Hawkeye running back reached the 50-yard mark against the Boilermakers, and only Toren Young averaged at least 4 yards a carry.

Tight end Noah Fant was also the only receiver to top 40 yards with a 3-catch, 85-yard day. While it was apparent Stanley was spreading the wealth around, Iowa will need someone to step up in big situations if it wants to reach 10 wins.

“I wouldn’t say I’m satisfied with [the offense],” Fant said. “I feel like we can do a lot better. There’s a lot more space for improvement. Definitely just wanting to get better.”

Iowa now has three losses by a combined 19 points — all winnable contests — so it would be hard for Hawkeye fans not to play the “what-if” game at this point.

Iowa played a clean game for around 55 minutes before two holding calls stalled an offensive drive that looked as if the Hawkeyes would extend their lead. Then there was a questionable defensive pass-interference call on Julius Brents in the end zone set that Purdue up for a short game-winning field goal.

While the offense enjoyed a nice bounce-back game for the most part, the holding call didn’t help the cause.

“They made the call, and we just have to be in better position; I think that’s what it comes down to,” center Keegan Render said. “We went out there and wanted to try to end the game on our terms and didn’t let that happen. It’s something we just have to pick up as an offense, and we realize we just need to put the game away. We kind of just let it slip out of our grasp.”

Facebook Comments