IOWA CITY, Iowa – Down goes No. 2.
The Purdue football team steamrolled its way to a 24-7 win over No. 2 Iowa at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday. The Boilermakers never trailed and used a stout defensive effort to pull off the ranked win on the road.
As the Boilermakers handed the Hawkeyes their first loss of the season, they earned their sixth-ever win over an AP No. 2 team. Purdue has won two in a row over No. 2-ranked opponents, after an October 10, 2018 victory over Ohio State, and four of five against the Hawkeyes. The Boilermakers also picked up their 16th win over an AP top-five foe while unranked, the most in the country.
Saturday in Iowa City, Quarterback Aidan O’Connell was 30-for-40 for 378 yards with two touchdowns passes, a rushing score and no interceptions. He helped wide receiver David Bell have a career-day 11 catches for a career-best 240 yards, the second-best total in a single game in school history. Bell moved into the top 10 in school history for career receptions and receiving yards.
Meanwhile, the Purdue defense had four interceptions and held Iowa’s offense to 271 total yards, 76 on the ground and 195 through the air. The defense had 10 tackles-for-loss, including four sacks. Coming into the matchup, the Boilermakers had two total takeaways, a number that was tripled today. The Hawkeyes were limited to just one touchdown after they scored at least 23 points in every other game this season.
The Boilermaker defense set an early tone when Kieran Douglas came up with his first career interception on Iowa’s first drive of the game. On Purdue’s second drive, O’Connell, Jack Plummer and Austin Burton combined to guide the Boilermakers on a 10-pay, 67-yard touchdown drive, capped by an O’Connell 6-yard scamper, to take a 7-0 lead.
Both defenses stood tall, each forcing a missed field goal early in the second quarter. Iowa tied it up at 7-7 with 3:20 to play in the half on a 3-yard touchdown run by Ivory Kelly-Martin.
Purdue regained the lead just before halftime. Rolling down the field on a 10-play, 75-yard drive, the Boilermakers scored on a 3-yard touchdown catch by TJ Sheffield from O’Connell with 19 seconds to play and jump ahead 14-7 at the break.
Out of the break, Purdue extended the gap to 10 points on its first drive with a 31-yard field goal from Mitchell Fineran. Purdue nearly grew the lead by another score on their following drive, as Sheffield extended the ball to the pylon on a pass from O’Connell, only for the ball to slip away for a touchback.
Following a forced 3-and-out by the defense, Bell tacked on the Boilermakers’ next score with a 21-yard catch in the endzone with 12:29 to play to make it 24-7 in favor of the visitors. Iowa then drove the ball down to the Purdue 10-yard line, but the defense held firm on fourth down.
The final three Iowa drives all ended in interceptions. Cam Allen had the first, with 3:42 left on the clock at the Boilermaker 13-yard-line. On Iowa’s very next drive, after a 41-yard punt return put the ball on the Purdue 12, Dedrick Mackey picked off the UI quarterback at the three-yard-line. On the final play of the game, Allen got the interception again in the end zone to seal the victory.
DOWN GOES NO. 2
Saturday marked the second straight time Purdue faced and defeated the No. 2-ranked team in the country, following the 49-20 win over No. 2 Ohio State on Oct. 20, 2018, at Ross-Ade Stadium. The Boilermakers are now 6-10 all-time against No. 2 opponents and 5-11 when facing a ranked Iowa team.
The last time Purdue downed the nation’s No. 2 team on the road was a 1974 victory at Notre Dame.
BELL’S CAREER GAME
David Bell continued to cement his name in the Purdue record books with an impressive showing in Iowa City. Bell had 11 catches for 240 yards with a touchdown. His 240 receiving yards is second most in team history, behind Only Chris Daniels’ 301 against Michigan State in 1999.
As he eclipsed 200 yards for the first time in his career, Bell has reached the 100-yard mark in 14 of 23 games. He has 2,339 career receiving yards, fifth-most all-time, 19 career touchdowns, No. 8 in school history, and 177 career receptions, ninth in the record books.
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