Week 8 halftime reactions — Iowa vs. Purdue

The Iowa defense has been solid once again by forcing a key turnover, but the inability to run the ball has hurt the Hawkeye offense.


Katina Zentz

Iowa running back Mekhi Sargent carries the ball during the football game against Purdue at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, October 19, 2019. The Hawkeyes lead the Boilermakers 9-7 at half.

Pete Ruden and Anna Kayser

Hawkeye defense coming up clutch

Michael Ojemudia said Tuesday that Iowa hasn’t been forcing as many turnovers as it wants.

Facing a Purdue offense that thoroughly enjoys airing it out provides plenty of opportunities for the Hawkeyes to turn that around, however.

A turnover finally came in the second quarter of Iowa’s matchup with the Boilermakers.

With Purdue threatening on Iowa’s 18, Boilermaker quarterback Jack Plummer completed a 9-yard pass to Amad Anderson, but Hawkeye safety Geno Stone forced a fumble, and Matt Hankins jumped on it.

The turnover kept Iowa’s 6-0 lead intact in another game in which the Hawkeyes could only score with field goals.

It also showed how dynamic of a playmaker Stone can be on the defensive side of that ball. After forcing another turnover against Michigan with an interception of Shea Patterson, Stone kept his playmaking ability on full display against the Boilermakers.

It’s been another solid performance for the Hawkeye defense, giving up only seven points in the first half. For the third game in a row, the defense has outshined the offense.

But once again, it’s going to need help from the offense to come out with a win.

Running woes continue

For a running game that ended September on a sky-high note with 351 yards against Middle Tennessee, its production during the past three weeks has been dismal.

The Hawkeyes had one net rushing yard against Michigan, 70 against Penn State and have just 46 so far today. Of those 46, Nate Stanley holds the team-long with a 9-yard run in the second quarter.

Toren Young leads the team with 14 yards on four carries, and Mekhi Sargent has 13 yards on eight carries.

As for Iowa’s Akrum Wadley-esque freshman standout running back Tyler Goodson, he has just one carry through two quarters of football.

The production on the passing side has helped make up for the stall in rushing, but for a Big Ten team that relies on the ground carries to make its way downfield, Iowa is struggling.

It is 2-of-7 on third-down conversions, one of which was an attempt by Brady Ross to break through the defensive line. He was stuffed back for no gain, and Iowa was forced to punt.

For Iowa to have success in the second half, mixing in Goodson is going to be important for success and giving Purdue’s defense a different view of the running game.

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