Oct. 7, 2006
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IOWA CITY – The nationally ranked Iowa Hawkeyes came to play Saturday at sun-drenched Kinnick Stadium and pasted a 47-17 defeat on the visiting Purdue Boilermakers in celebration of Homecoming 2006.
Who had a big game for the home team? Well, it’s a question of where to start. Iowa’s offense was incredibly efficient, notching 25 first downs, 539 yards and 40 points on just 63 plays from scrimmage. Iowa started fast – racing to a 14-0 lead after one quarter and a 20-3 margin at halftime – and never stopped moving forward.
Quarterback Drew Tate was brilliant, connecting on 17of 23 attempts for 253 yards and two touchdowns. Damian Sims, who filled in for Albert Young at the starting running back position, ran fro 155 yards and a pair of scores. Shonn Greene added 88 yards and a touchdown run.
“It doesn’t matter how good a player you are or how long you’ve played, you need to work, you need to practice. He was right on top of his game today,” UI Coach Kirk Ferentz said of his field general.
Dominique Douglass was pretty good, too. He had a team-high four catches including a 37-yarder that delighted the crowd of 70,585 who filled Kinnick to capacity yet again. Herb Grigsby chipped in three grabs and four Hawkeyes had a pair of catches including tight end Scott Chandler and Tom Busch who were on the receiving end of scores.
The Hawkeyes outgained Purdue’s high-scoring offense by more than 80 yards. It did with a balanced attack: 286 yards via the ground, 253 yards via the air. Iowa averaged more than eight yards per offensive play.
Then there was the defense. Oh what an effort.
Much-maligned and growing thin in the secondary, Defensive Coordinator Norm Parker’s troops limited the Big Ten Conference’s most explosive offense to just 17 points – 19 points under its season average of 38.6 points per game. Iowa’s defensive backfield also came up with three interceptions including one midway through the fourth quartern by Adam Shada, who returned the pick 98 yards for a touchdown and a new school record.
“We had young guys stepping in and older guys providing some great leadership. We played some very good defense particularly in the first half, ” Ferentz said.
The victory pushed Iowa to 5-1 overall and 2-1 in Big Ten action. Purdue dropped to 4-2 and 1-2, respectively.
“It was a very good win. It was nice to see the tempo, crispness that we saw early in the game on offense. We continue to move forward in spite of the bumps, bruises and injuries,” said Ferentz.
“Our response (to last Saturday) was very good during the week and we showed good response to some of the things that happened on the field today,” he added. “We have plenty to clean up. The big thing for us is to keep our focus on improving each day, each game.”
Iowa travels to Indiana next Saturday for the first of two Big Ten road games. The Hawkeyes and Hoosiers will kickoff shortly after 11 a.m. in a game that will be televised live by ESPN2. Iowa travels to Michigan the following week before playing its final non-conference game of the season Oct. 28 against Northern Illinois in Kinnick Stadium. That game has been designated “Black Out Saturday” and all fans of the Hawkeyes are encouraged to wear black to show their support of the UI.