Nov. 10, 2012
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Purdue placekicker Paul Griggs connected on a 46-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Boilermakers to a 27-24 victory over the University of Iowa football team on a blackout Saturday inside Kinnick Stadium.
The loss drops the Hawkeyes’ record to 4-6 overall and 2-4 in Big Ten Conference play; Purdue improves to 4-6 overall and 1-5 in league play.
“Give Purdue credit, they came and played to win and competed hard enough to win,” said UI head coach Kirk Ferentz. “They looked like the team that played against Ohio State and Notre Dame earlier in the year, so give them credit.”
Trailing 24-21 midway through the fourth quarter, the Hawkeyes used an 11-play, 74-yard drive to tie the game at 24 with 3:32 remaining. Iowa used trickery to set up the score; sophomore Damon Bullock rushed to the right, fired back to senior James Vandenberg on the far hash before the quarterback connected with sophomore Kevonte Martin-Manley for a 35-yard gain to the Purdue 26.
Three Bullock rushes moved Iowa to the 14 before Vandenberg scrambled for 8 yards on second-and-8, setting up a first and goal from the 6. Iowa couldn’t travel the final 6 yards, as it was forced to settle for Mike Meyer’s 24-yard field goal.
“If you can’t come up with a touchdown there, that impacts the game,” said Ferentz. “At the end of the game we had a fourth-and-3, a very makeable situation, and we couldn’t make that. Those two drives, not finishing those in a three-point ballgame were going to come up big.”
After the defense did its job by forcing a Purdue punt, the Hawkeyes took over at the 14 yard line with 1:08 to play. On second-and-7 from the 17, Vandenberg avoided a sack before scrambling 20 yards to move the ball to the 37. He followed with an 11-yard completion to Martin-Manley and a 10-yard pitch-and-catch to senior Keenan Davis to move the ball into Purdue territory.
Following a pair of incompletions on first and second down, Vandenberg found Davis for a 7-yard gain on third down, setting up a fourth-and-3 with 21 seconds remaining. The Hawkeyes elected to go for it instead of attempting a 52-yard field goal into the wind. Vandenberg completed the fourth-down attempt to senior Zach Derbyon a short route in the flat, but it was stopped for a 1-yard gain, giving Purdue possession at its 34 yard line with 16 seconds left.
“Going into and throughout the game, we were thinking 30 yard line,” said Ferentz of not attempting the field goal. “On the last play of the game, if you miss it, they’ve still got the ball right there. I guess if you make it, it changes the game.”
Boilermaker quarterback Robert Marve opened the final drive with a 17-yard scramble up the middle, moving the ball to midfield with 10 ticks left. On the next play, Marve connected with Antavian Edison for a 20-yard completion to the Iowa 29 to set up Griggs’ kick. Griggs was 3-of-6 this season with a long of 40 before connecting on the game-winner.
“We were getting ourselves in a position to win the ball game,” said Purdue head coach Danny Hope. “We knew that if we could get protection for our quarterback, Robert Marve could be a difference maker like he was today.
“That last drive, we didn’t have any second guesses in our minds that if we could protect for Robert, we could kick a field goal.”
Purdue nearly doubled up the Hawkeyes offensively, holding a 490-to-264 advantage in total offense. Iowa finished with 74 yards rushing and 190 yards passing. The Hawkeyes made the game competitive by forcing and recovering three Purdue fumbles.
Vandenberg completed 19-of-36 attempts for 190 yards with one touchdown. Bullock finished with 43 yards on 23 carries with one score, and Martin-Manley had four catches for 63 yards. Senior cornerback Micah Hyde led a group three Hawkeyes with double-digit tackle totals, finishing with 11 stops, and he scored on a fumble recovery.
Marve was 25-of-33 for 266 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Boilermakers offensively. Senior Ralph Bolden had 102 yards rushing, and Edison had five catches for 50 yards.
After taking a 14-7 lead into the intermission, the Boilermakers used a nine-play, 56-yard drive to extend their lead on the first possession of the second half. On third-and-4 from midfield, Marve connected with O.J. Ross for a 28-yard gain when Iowa freshman Sean Draper lost his footing, allowing the Boilermakers to move into the red zone. The Hawkeye defense stiffened, holding Purdue to Sam McCartney’s 36-yard field goal, making the score 17-7.
The Hawkeyes made it a one possession game with a 12-play, 69-yard drive, cutting the deficit to 17-14. Vandenberg connected with Bullock for a 15-yard gain on third-and-2 to move the ball to midfield. Iowa dug itself a hole when Vandenberg was sacked for a 10-yard loss on first down, setting up a second-and-20.
Purdue bailed the Hawkeyes out with a 15-yard face mask penalty on third-and-20, moving the ball to the Boilermaker 37. Iowa converted its third consecutive third down when Vandenberg connected with Jordan Cotton for an 11-yard gain to the 24. On the next play, the Boilermakers’ Frankie Williams was whistled for pass interference on a delayed go route by Martin-Manley, setting up a first and goal from the 9. Three plays later, Vandenberg found C.J. Fiedorowicz for a 9-yard score.
The Boilermakers used a quick strike — two plays, 66 yards — to produce its third touchdown of the afternoon. After taking over at its own 34, Bolden emerged through traffic for a 56-yard gain down to the Iowa 10. On the next play, Marve connected with Gary Bush for a 10-yard score, pushing the Purdue advantage to 24-14.
After Iowa went three-and-out on offense, the Hawkeye defense set up its second touchdown of the game. Purdue started the drive at its own 8-yard line, and on the second play of the series, Marve fumbled a snap under center. Hyde snatched up the ball and returned it nine yards for the touchdown to make the score 24-21. It was Iowa’s first fumble return for a score since the 2003 season.
The Boilermakers scored the game’s first touchdown on their second possession, traveling 68 yards over nine plays. Marve connected with Akeem Shavers for a 23-yard gain on a misdirection route, moving Purdue to the Iowa 35. On third-and-1 from the 14, Bolden rushed nine yards to the five, and two plays later, Shavers scored on an option from three yards out, giving the Boilermakers the 7-0 lead.
The Hawkeye defense forced consecutive Purdue turnovers in the second quarter, but it only mustered seven points. Iowa got the first turnover when Marve threw a backwards pass to Bolden on third-and-7 from the Purdue 48, a play that was initially ruled incomplete.
After the play was overturned, the Hawkeyes took over on the Purdue 44, but promptly when three-and-out, punting the ball right back to the Boilermakers. On the first play of Purdue’s offensive series, senior Steve Bigach knocked the ball loose from Akeem Hunt, and freshman Darian Cooper recovered the fumble, giving the Hawkeyes possession at the 22. After taking four plays to pick up the initial first down, Vandenberg converted a bubble screen to Martin-Manley to advance the ball to the 1. Bullock then followed with a 1-yard touchdown run on a pitch to the outside, tying the game at seven.
The Boilermakers responded with an 11-play, 75 yard drive to regain the advantage. Purdue converted a pair of third downs on the series, the first of which was a 26-yard completion to O.J. Ross to move into Iowa territory. The Boilermakers then used six consecutive rushes to move to the 9 yard line before Marve found Gabe Holmes for a 9-yard touchdown to give Purdue the 14-7 lead.
The Hawkeyes were fortunate to be down just seven at the half, as Purdue drove 71 yards to the Iowa 3 with the clock winding down. The Boilermakers’ Sam McCartney missed a 20-yard chip-shot field goal on an untimed down.
Iowa returns to action Nov. 17 at Michigan. The game is set to begin at 11 a.m. (CT) in Ann Arbor, Mich.