Kirk on Purdue

Nov. 7, 2003

Iowa and Purdue square off in big Big Ten Conference football game Saturday in West Lafayette, IN. The game will be televised live by ESPN at 2:30 p.m. Iowa time. Here’s what Kirk Ferentz had to say about the contest that will impact national polls, the Big Ten title chase, and next week’s Bowl Championship Series standings.

“This is a big game for both teams. I’m sure both teams are excited about this game.

“We’ve known Purdue has had an exceptional team since facing them last season. They have one of the most veteran teams, if not the most veteran team, in the Big Ten. They had a 7-6 season with all losses by very small margins, and one to the eventual national champion Ohio State Buckeyes.

“The big difference we see this year is the play of quarterback, Kyle Orton. He is now playing like a veteran — a junior who plays like a senior. They are running the ball better than we have seen in the past. Defensively, they remain very athletic and very aggressive, like Michigan. And, they’re very solid on special teams. They are an excellent, veteran Big Ten contender.

“This is a great challenge for our football team and one our guys are looking forward to. We’ve had a good week of practice. I think our guys are anxious to play. We’ll see how we match up”