Iowa football downs Purdue, transfer wideouts Charlie Jones and Tyrone Tracy

The Hawkeyes picked up a 24-3 win over the Boilermakers at Ross-Ade Stadium Saturday afternoon.


Jerod Ringwald

Iowa Hawkeyes tight end Sam LaPorta (84) carries the ball into the end zone for a touchdown during a football game between Iowa and Purdue at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Ind., on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022.

Austin Hanson, Pregame Editor

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — One of the Purdue football team’s pregame rituals at Ross-Ade Stadium is to run onto the field alongside a golf cart-sized train. The miniature locomotive broke down on Saturday and needed to be pushed off the field.

Like the train, the Boilermakers’ offense struggled to get going in Purdue’s 24-3 loss to Iowa Saturday. The Boilermakers accumulated 153 yards and three points in the first half against the Hawkeyes.

Starting quarterback Aidan O’Connell went 11-of-22 for 111 yards and two interceptions in his opening half against Iowa.

Quarterback Spencer Petras and the Hawkeye offense couldn’t move the ball on their first two drives of the game — running 11 plays for 31 total yards. Petras went 2-of-6 for 12 yards during that stretch.

Iowa put together three consecutive scoring drives after stumbling out of the gate. Tight end Sam LaPorta scored the Hawkeyes’ first touchdown of the game with 14:23 remaining in the second quarter.

Nico Ragaini scored Iowa’s second TD on the ensuing drive. The senior wide receiver found the end zone on a 29-yard pass from Petras. 

Ragaini and LaPorta scored their first touchdowns of the 2022 season on Saturday. Petras went 6-of-6 for 132 yards on the second-quarter TD drives.

The Hawkeyes’ advanced the ball to the Boilermaker 1-yard line on their third scoring drive of the first half. A backfield miscue between Petras, wideout Arland Bruce, and running back Kaleb Johnson on second down stalled the drive and kept the Hawkeyes out of the end zone. 

True freshman Drew Stevens ultimately kicked a 26-yard field goal.

Purdue placekicker Mitchell Fineran converted a 34-yard field goal of his own with one minute and 40 minutes remaining in the first half.

Iowa responded to the Boilermaker score with a 75-yard touchdown on the second play from scrimmage in the third quarter. Johnson ran 10 yards inside the hash marks without being touched, then broke toward the west sideline and sprinted into the end zone.

The touchdown cemented the game’s final score, as the Hawkeyes did not allow the Boilermakers to score in the second half.

Purdue finished the game with 252 total yards, and O’Connell was 20-of-43 for 168 yards.

“I was really impressed with the way our defense played,” Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said postgame. “I sure as hell will not stand here and say I saw that one coming because these guys move the ball really well.”

Jones, Tracy take on former team

Purdue wide receiver Charlie Jones caught 11 passes for 104 yards against his former team Saturday. He’s gained 944 yards and scored nine touchdowns this year.

“In terms of playing Charlie, it was an honor to be able to play him,” defensive back Riley Moss said. “We lined up against each other, but we’ll be friends for life. We’re in the same group message still. Yeah, I was competitive a little bit, and he was competitive too. That’s what makes football fun. That’s why people love it.”

Jones transferred from Iowa to Purdue in June. He followed senior and ex-Hawkeye Tyrone Tracy, who left Iowa City for West Lafayette after the 2021 season.

Tracy did not register any stats against the Hawkeyes Saturday.

Iowa gained 376 total yards against Purdue — 184 rushing and 192 passing.

Big picture

Iowa is now 5-4 this season. The Hawkeyes haven’t had a winning record since they lost to the Illinois Fighting Illini, 9-6, on Oct. 8 in Champaign.

“We talk all the time about not listening to the noise, that what matters is our preparation and continuing to work and to push things through,” Petras said. “I think this is proof of it … You guys had us dead two weeks ago. We couldn’t do anything right.

“That’s not what football is,” Petras added. “Football is a week-to-week game. If you keep working, and if you do things right and work hard, then good results happen. The last two weeks have been proof of that.”

Iowa is now one win away from bowl eligibility. The Hawkeyes are tied for second place in the Big Ten West with the Wisconsin Badgers, Minnesota Golden Gophers, and the Boilermakers.

All four teams trail first-place Illinois by two games in the standings.

Up next

Iowa will battle Wisconsin at Kinnick Stadium for the Heartland Trophy next Saturday. The Badgers have won five of their last six matchups with the Hawkeyes.

Iowa last held the Heartland Trophy in 2020. Wisconsin will enter its game against Iowa fresh off a 23-10 win over Maryland.