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November 9, 2012

Matchup Preview: Purdue-Iowa





GoldandBlack.com breaks down how Purdue and Iowa might match up Saturday, when the Boilermakers visit Kinnick Stadium.

When Purdue's running ...

When the scoreboard has allowed Purdue to focus on the running game, it's had its moments lately, including some big plays. But Iowa is going to be physical up front. The key here is simply for the Boilermakers to match that physicality and for its passing game to be effective enough to set up the run. That's been an issue.

Advantage: Iowa (slight)

When Purdue's passing ...


Quarterback Robert Marve wasn't perfect last week against Penn State, but he played well enough for the offense to have put points on the board. Dropped passes and protection breakdowns prevented that from happening, though. Considering how poor Iowa's pass rush has been this season, you'd hope the latter won't be as great an issue.

Advantage: Purdue (slight)

When Iowa is running ...

Iowa's running back situation has been a trainwreck with player after player getting hurt and its offensive line has been decimated by injury, but it tends to find ways to at least be productive. Purdue, meanwhile, has really struggled defensively, against the run included. If the Boilermakers don't assert themselves at the line of scrimmage and tackle well, the Hawkeyes might roll.

Advantage: Iowa (slight)

When Iowa is passing ...

Iowa's passing game has really struggled all season - really struggled - and it's not just been on quarterback James Vandenberg. Iowa's been slow to click in a new offense; its offensive line is banged up; and its receivers are not playing terribly well. That said, Purdue's been lit up lately in the passing game and has just three sacks in five Big Ten games. Not exactly a battle of the titans here in this phase of the game

Advantage: Purdue (slight)

Special teams

Purdue's kickoff return team has remained dangerous even after losing Raheem Mostert. Why aren't people kicking away from Akeem Hunt more? Iowa is the worst punting team in the Big Ten. Iowa's kicker, Mike Meyer, has been good this season, but is coming off an 0-for-2 game. Field goals remain dicey for Purdue.

Advantage: Even

Intangibles

Both teams are in terrible funks, needing wins to make something of their seasons. … Iowa needs this game as much as Purdue, probably more, needing to win two of its final three to get bowl-eligible, with Michigan and Nebraska left to play. … The Boilermakers haven't won in Iowa City seemingly in forever.




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Copyright, Boilers, Inc. 2012. All Rights Reserved. Reproducing or using editorial or graphical content, in whole or in part, without permission, is strictly prohibited. E-mail GoldandBlack.com/Boilers, Inc.

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