Campbell Expects an Exciting, Challenging Game

Nov. 18, 2011

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A fun game to watch for all 60 minutes.

That’s what University of Iowa receivers coach Erik Campbell predicts for Saturday’s Iowa-Purdue football game inside Ross-Ade Stadium.

Both teams enter the Big Ten Conference battle with 3-3 records in the league. Iowa is 6-4 overall, the Boliermakers are 5-5.

“It will be a challenging game,” Campbell said. “Both teams are right there fighting for the same type of things right now. We have the same record in the league, so it will be a very exciting and challenging game.”

Campbell played defensive back at the University of Michigan and the shift to coaching the other side of the ball was smooth.

“It was a fun transition, no problem,” Campbell said. “It was probably a little easier because I knew what hurt me as a (defensive) player and then going over to that side to coach receivers was an easy transition.”

While at Michigan, Campbell coached 1,000-yard receivers an NCAA-record eight straight seasons from 1998-2005. This is his fourth season at the UI, and he now has his first Hawkeye 1,000-yard receiver in Marvin McNutt, Jr. McNutt has 65 receptions for 1,089 yards and 10 touchdowns — that’s an average of 16.8 yards a catch and 108.9 yards a game.

“One thing about Marvin McNutt is that he has done it with three games left to go,” Campbell said. “He still has a lot more yards to go and a lot more catches.”

McNutt and the Hawkeyes face a Purdue defense that has allowed just one player to post 100 or more receiving yards in game; Michael Floyd of Notre Dame compiled 12 catches for 137 yards and a touchdown during the Irish’s 38-10 win Oct. 1.

“They’re very aggressive,” Campbell said of the Boilermaker defense. “They’re very talented back in the back end. The corners play really close and tight to you, so it will be a big challenge for us tomorrow.”

Purdue enters the game rated eighth in pass defense in the Big Ten Conference, allowing 201.4 yards per contest.

McNutt is the leader of a Hawkeye receiving group that is still growing and improving, according to Campbell. A great example is the performance of junior Steven Staggs last week against Michigan State. Staggs entered the game with one catch — against the Spartans he had three grabs for 36 yards and a long of 17.

Junior Keenan Davis has 34 catches, freshman Kevonte Martin-Manley has 25 and freshman Marcus Grant has one catch for 12 yards.

“Those guys are playing well and contributing right now,” Campbell said. “Those guys are coming along and they keep contributing and getting better in practice and in every game.”

Kickoff is scheduled for 11:01 a.m. (CT). The game will be broadcast by the Big Ten Network with Tom Hart, Derek Rackley and Lisa Byington calling the action.