Sept. 27, 2014
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By JAMES ALLAN
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa defense limited Purdue to 156 yards and the Hawkeyes scored the game’s final 24 points to post a 24-10 Big Ten-opening victory over the Boilermakers on Saturday afternoon at Ross-Ade Stadium.
“There was nothing easy about it today, and that’s how it is in Big Ten football,” said UI head coach Kirk Ferentz. “I am proud of the guy for how they battled, and I am pleased to get the win.”
The victory is Iowa’s fourth-straight road triumph, and it moves the Hawkeyes record to 4-1 overall and 1-0 in Big Ten play heading into next week’s bye. Purdue falls to 2-3 overall and 0-1 in league play.
The Hawkeye defense wreaked havoc throughout the day, limiting the Boilermakers to 156 yards, including just 56 in the second half. Iowa forced a pair of turnovers — two John Lowdermilk interceptions — notched four sacks, including 1.5 from junior Nate Meier, and had six tackles for loss.
“The offense stuck with it and the second half they pulled through,” said Meier. “The defense, we stuck with it the whole game and got things done.”
Iowa forced six three-and-outs in the contest and allowed nine total first downs with four coming in the second half. Lowdermilk led the unit with seven tackles, while junior Jordan Lomax, senior Quinton Alston, and Meier each had six stops apiece.
After a slow first quarter, the Iowa offense found its groove to the tune of gaining 420 yards of total offense for the game — 245 coming through the air and 175 on the ground. Sophomore C.J. Beathard completed 17-of-37 attempts for 245 with one touchdown, while senior Mark Weisman (24 carries, 76 yards, two touchdowns) and junior Jordan Canzeri (15 attempts, 63 yards) combined for 139 rushing yard.
Eight different Iowa players made at least one catch with senior Kevonte Martin-Manleyleading the way with five catches for 74 yards, including the go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter. Martin-Manley moved into fifth place all-time in receptions with 148.
On its second series of the second half, the Hawkeyes grinded out a 17-play, 83-yard drive that ended with a turnover on downs at the Purdue 8. Iowa converted 3-of-4 third downs on the series, and Weisman had a 12-yard carry that put him over the 2,000-yard mark for his career.
The Hawkeyes had a first-and-10 from the Purdue 15 on the series, and moved the ball to the 8 on a 7-yard Weisman rush. Following a miscommunication on a third down pass attempt to Derrick Willies, Iowa elected to go for it on fourth-and-3, and Beathard’s attempt to Martin-Manley on a drag route to the chains misfired, giving Purdue possession.
Iowa’s defense surrendered its first first down of the second half before giving the Hawkeye offense another shot, and they delivered, driving 71 yards on six plays to take the 17-10 lead with 45 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
Canzeri opened the drive with back-to-back rushes for 7 yards before Beathard connected with junior Tevaun Smith for 27 yards on a second-and-10 from the Iowa 41 into Purdue territory. Following a 14-yard scamper by Canzeri into the red zone, Beathard connected with Martin-Manley on a 23-yard touchdown reception.
Martin-Manley adjusted his body to make the catch, got one foot down and hauled in the catch. The play was originally ruled incomplete before being overturned by instant replay. It was the senior’s first touchdown catch of the season.
“I am trying to think of the last time a replay went our way — on a play like that,” said Ferentz. “That came at a great time. It was a good effort by C.J. and Kevonte. You need plays like that if you’re going to win games.”
The Hawkeyes put the game away with a 12-play, 79-yard drive early in the fourth quarter. After starting on its own 21, Canzeri carried three times for 12 yards to the 33 before Beathard connected with Martin-Manley for 16 yards to midfield.
On third-and-6 from the Purdue 34, sophomore LeShun Daniels, Jr., ran for 7 yards for a first down three plays later Beathard hooked up with Jacob Hillyer for an 18-yard gain to the 5. Weisman scored on the next play from 5 yards out, giving the Hawkeyes a 24-10 advantage with 5:10 left in the game.
Lowdermilk intercepted Boilermaker quarterback Danny Etling at the Iowa 34 on the second play of the ensuing series, setting up a seven-play, 48-yard drive. Iowa drove down to the Purdue 5 on the series, but came away empty after its fourth-down attempt sailed in the back of the end zone.
The Boilermakers picked up two first downs on its final drive with Austin Appleby directing the offense under center. Lowdermilk picked off the sophomore at midfield and returned it 18 yards before falling to the ground untouched with one minute to play to Iowa set up in the victory formation.
In the first half, Purdue missed on an opportunity to take an early 3-0 lead when Paul Griggs missed a 43-yard field goal attempt midway through the first quarter, but the Boilermakers’ defense made up for it, scoring the game’s first points.
On the first play of Iowa’s third drive, Beathard targeted tight end Ray Hamilton on a crossing route, where Purdue’s Frankie Williams jumped the route for an interception before returning the pick 39 yards for the touchdown, giving the Boilermakers a 7-0 lead with 4:13 left in the first quarter.
After three-straight three-and-outs, Purdue pushed its lead to 10-0 with a nine-play, 21-yard scoring drive. The Boilermakers started the drive near midfield following an 18-yard Williams’ punt return. Purdue moved the ball into the red zone courtesy of a 9-yard completion to Danny Anthrop and six straight rushes.
On third-and-7 from the 16, senior Louis Trinca-Pasat sacked Etling for a 9-yard loss, but Purdue came away with points when Griggs’ connected on a 42-yard field goal, pushing the Boilermaker advantage to 10 points with 11:48 left in the half.
After a slow start offensively, the Hawkeyes gained traction on the ensuing drive after Jonathan Parker jump-started the drive with a 47-yard kickoff return from the goal line. The Hawkeyes gained their first first down five minutes into the second quarter on a pass interference call on linebacker Sean Robinson.
It was a break that got Iowa started.
Beathard followed with a 15-yard run on a designed draw to move Iowa to the 25 before Canzeri scampered 9 yards down to the 16. On second-and-1, Beathard hit Martin-Manley on a quick hitter in space, where he made a move and gained 13 yards to the 3. Two rushes later, Weisman scored on a plunge from 2-yards out, cutting the lead to 10-7 with 8:15 left.
Iowa evened the game at 10 with a 15-play, 78-yard scoring drive. After picking up its initial first down with a pair of Canzeri rushes and a 6-yard completion to Derrick Willies, Beathard hooked up with Parker on a ball that was deflected at the line of scrimmage for 34-yards into Purdue territory.
On third-and-18 from the 38, Beathard connected with Jacob Hillyer for a 17-yard gain setting up a fourth-and-1, and Weisman picked up the first down with a 5-yard scamper. Iowa missed a golden opportunity to take the lead when Hillyer dropped a pass that was right on the numbers in the back of the end zone, which ultimately forced the Hawkeyes to settle on Marshall Koehn’s 28-yard field goal with 13 seconds left in the half.
Iowa has a bye Oct. 4. The Hawkeyes return to action Oct. 11, hosting Indiana inside Kinnick Stadium.