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November 9, 2013
This was supposed to be the start of the break in a brutal schedule.
Looks more like every game is going to be tough for a rebuilding Purdue team.
An average Iowa team overwhelmed the Boilermakers on Saturday in Ross-Ade Stadium, doubling-up Purdue on yardage, displaying a clear physical advantage and cruising to a 38-14 victory.
The Boilermakers, now 1-8 and winless in five Big Ten games, had only two penalties for 20 yards and one turnover but hardly competed.
A week after getting blown out by one of the nation's premier teams, the result wasn't much better against a middle-of-the-pack league team.
"They all sting about the same," Coach Darrell Hazell said of the losses. "You'd like to perform better every single week. I think that's the goal as the program goes forward. Just want to try to get them stopped defensively and try to make some plays offensively.
"I thought we came out of the locker room with some energy and some enthusiasm that we're asking the players to play with. But we've got to be able to make those plays in all those critical situations to become a team that moves forward in the win category."
The Hawkeyes (6-4, 3-3) gained 318 of their 509 yards with a dominating run game, led by an offensive line that largely manhandled Purdue's defensive front and linebackers, and averaged 7.1 yards per play.
Iowa hadn't a 100-yard rusher in its first five Big Ten games, but backup Jordan Canzeri gouged Purdue for 165 and a touchdown on 20 carries. Canzeri entered the game with 173 yards rushing for the season. Damon Bullock added 85 on 10 carries.
"We knew that was what they were going to do against us, that's what they've done all year," linebacker Sean Robinson said. "Their offensive line did a really good job. They were really quick guys. Just every week with football victories come down to your team making plays and getting off blocks and winning individual battles. It's 11-on-11 and team and all that stuff, but when it comes down to it, you have to win your own battles."
It wasn't only the run defense that struggled, though.
That emphasis on pounding the run had the Boilermakers ready to crash, but that's when Iowa went with play-action passes and hit Purdue for big plays over the top. Jake Rudock completed passes of 22, 27 and 35 yards.
Hazell picked two plays he said were the game's biggest - that 35-yard pass and then Purdue's only turnover, a fumble lost by Raheem Mostert when Iowa led 14-7.
Mostert had gotten only one offensive snap in the first half but then in the third quarter, Purdue coaches gave the junior a chance to carry the load. After going three-and-out on the first series of the half, Mostert was in to start the second drive and was in for five plays before getting the handoff on his sixth. He made a nice cut to slip into a hole but then got stripped at the end of that eight-yard carry with Purdue in Iowa territory.
The Hawkeyes responded with an eight-play, 71-yard drive that ended in a touchdown for a 21-7 lead.
"Those are hard things to overcome when you're where we are right now as a program," Hazell said. "You've got to make those plays in those critical situations defensively and offensively."
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